From 8 to 12 November 2021, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) delivered its Interdicting Small Arms, Ammunition, Parts and Components (ISAAPC) course in virtual modality. Thirty (30) officials, including 10 women, from Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, Antigua and Barbuda Forensic Services, Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy, Customs and Excise Division actively participated in the course.

The ISAAPC course forms part of the technical assistance provided by UNLIREC within its ‘Combat of Illicit Arms and Ammunition Trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean (Phase III)’ project. The specialized course aims to strengthen the capacities of States to combat and prevent the illicit trafficking of small arms, ammunition and explosives that is carried out through postal shipments, packages, parcels, and luggage at entry, exit, and transit points in the country.

Based on a theoretical-practical methodology, the participants received specialized training on the fundamental aspects of X-ray technology, technical specifications of small arms, their parts and components, ammunition, and explosives. The course also included an interactive session on concealment methods being employed by traffickers in the region. Furthermore, participants received practical training on an X-ray simulation program developed by the Centre for Adaptive Security Research and Applications (CASRA), thereby enhancing and developing their capacities to detect illicit trafficking through X-ray scanners.

This specialized course, developed in line with 2001 UN Porgramme of Action on Small Arms, Arms Trade Treaty and Sustainable Development Goal 16.4, contributes to regional efforts to prevent illicit trafficking of firearms and ammunition, thereby reducing firearms-related crimes and armed violence in the Caribbean.

The implementation of the ISAAPC course was made possible thanks to the financial support from the Federal Republic of Germany.