UNLIREC and Government of Jamaica advance disarmament objectives in the Caribbean

From 3 – 7 June 2013, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament Development in Latin America the Caribbean (UNLIREC), the Ministry of National Security (MNS) and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) collaborated in the destruction of 6.8 tonnes of surplus and obsolete small arms and light weapons ammunition. Eighteen Jamaican officials were trained on the safe operation of the UNLIREC-designed small arms ammunition burning tank (SAABT). Additionally, six JDF officials were trained in light weapons ammunition destruction operations according to the UN International Ammunition Technical Guidelines.

In December 2010, UNLIREC and the MNS jointly formulated a National Action Plan for Firearms and Ammunition Stockpile Management and Destruction resulting in the destruction of 1,972 surplus, obsolete and confiscated weapons and nearly seven tonnes of small arms and light weapons ammunition. Additionally, as part of the National Action Plan, security was enhanced at government stockpile facilities with the installation of international standard padlocks and 57 officials were trained in techniques to combat illicit trafficking in firearms, ammunition and explosives.

UNLIREC assistance to the Government of Jamaica is made possible thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of State, which forms part of a wider US-funded Caribbean Assistance Package. To date, UNLIREC and the Member States of the Caribbean have destroyed more than 40,000 weapons and 57 tonnes of ammunition as part of this package.

Sound stockpile management practices and the regular destruction of surplus, obsolete and confiscated weapons and ammunition are key measures called for in the UN 2001 Programme of Action on Small Arms for combating proliferation and preventing armed violence. UNLIREC, the regional arm of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, is based in Lima, Peru, and provides technical assistance to the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

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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