From 6-7 November 2019, in collaboration with the Government of Belize and with financial support of the Government of Canada, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) organized the “Caribbean Seminar on United Nations Security Council 1540 (2004): Focus List, Licensing Protocols and Risk Assessment” addressed to customs officers from Caribbean States. This Seminar was held in Belize City and delivered by specialists from the 1540 Committee Group of Experts of the UN Security Council, the Export Control and Related Border Security Program of the U.S. Department of State, the World Customs Organisation (WCO), the Stimson Center and UNLIREC.
During the Seminar -attended by 24 representatives (including 10 women) from customs agencies of 10 Caribbean States-, the attendees participated in a dialogue on the importance of implementing United Nations Security Council 1540 (2004) -dealing with non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)- in the Caribbean region and to reflect on the role of customs agencies in countering proliferation of WMDs with a focus on strategic trade controls. Participants also learnt to use UNLIREC’s Guide to Control List as a practical tool in their daily work in preventing the proliferation of goods that can be used to develop WMDs. Using this Guide as a basis, UNLIREC presented its Caribbean Focus List that can be adapted to national context in order to support customs officers to identify materials that can be used for both peaceful purposes and proliferation of WMDs.
Moreover, UNLIREC presented its Licensing Guide aimed at providing States with an easy-to-read guide to implement national licensing frameworkds to regulate strategic trade flows. Additionally, during the session on risk assessment, the WCO presented its Strategic Trade Atlas, a practical tool to help understand the global trade flows of strategic goods. Additionally, WCO led a practical exercise focused on what administrative, legal and intelligence elements a customs officer should consider during the importation/exportation process of strategic goods. UNLIREC’s Caribbean Focus List was used as a tool to guide participants in identifying specific dual-use materials.
Participants concurred that the greatest benefit of the Seminar was being exposed to the existing 1540 tools to assist in their daily functions, becoming more aware of the real threat of dual-use goods entering/exiting their countries, and the strengthened relationship with customs officials from other Caribbean States.
This activity is part of UNLIREC’s Assistance Programme to support the Latin American and Caribbean States in developing disarmament policies and implementing international disarmament instruments, including Resolution 1540 (2004).
For more information on UNLIREC visit (www.unlirec.org.). Please direct all questions or inquiries to: Ms Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer, at (email@example.com).