Belize committed to further strengthening implementation of its WMD controls

As part of UNLIREC’s technical assistance package to strengthen the implementation of resolution 1540 in the Caribbean, the Government of Belize and UNLIREC organized a national roundtable in Belmopan on February 23. This event brought together over 10 high level representatives from various institutions and agencies in Belize to discuss the findings and recommendations of UNLIREC’s study on the existing legal framework on 1540, and served as an opportunity to actively engage with the different stakeholders and explain the nature and scope of the review and of the technical assistance package in general. As well, additional information was gathered on the implementation of the resolution in the country, and a series of priority areas were identified for the delivery of further technical assistance in the coming months.

During the one day discussions, senior officials from a range of relevant institutions and agencies benefited from a series of presentations from the Group of Experts assisting the 1540 Committee on the nature and scope of UNSCR 1540(2004), and from UNLIRE C officials who introduced the content of the assistance package as well as a detailed account of the comprehensive review of the country’s legislation and potential recommendations for addressing challenges. Finally, the CARICOM 1540 Coordinator informed the audience of the work that this regional organization has undertaken in the past years.

In the afternoon panel, moderated by Mr. George Lovell, CEO of the Ministry of National Security, participants presented their comments and observations on potential priority areas for further assistance and training, and agreed to continue discussing these through internal deliberations that will be summoned for the coming weeks. The main issues addressed included the need to adopt a more robust legal framework on WMD matters, the necessity of summoning additional agencies to the table (Ministry of Health, Financial Intelligence Unit, among others), as well as the convenience of attempting to consolidate a coordinated work plan for the implementation of the resolution.

UNLIREC reiterated its willingness to support Belize should ongoing internal deliberations result in a specific request for technical assistance.

For more information on UNLIREC visit [www.unlirec.org]. Please direct all questions or inquiries to: Ms. Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer, [cowl@unlirec.org].

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