UNLIREC and Government of Suriname begin cooperation on Firearms Stockpile Management and Destruction Assistance Package

From 18 – 22 February 2013 the United Nations Office for Disarmament’s Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) conducted a national firearms baseline assessment mission in Suriname. This mission is the initial segment of technical cooperation between UNLIREC and Suriname.

UNLIREC Experts were in Paramaribo at the request of the Government of Suriname as the first step in UNLIREC assistance to this country under Phase II of its Caribbean Firearms Stockpile Management and Destruction Assistance Package, made possible with the financial support of the US Department of State Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement.

UNLIREC´s Caribbean Assistance Package was launched in April 2010 and offers assistance and support to fourteen Caribbean countries. While in Suriname, the UNLIREC Team met with senior government officials including the Ministers of Defence, Justice and Police, and Finance; the Director of the National Security Agency; the Prosecutor General; the Commander of the Suriname Armed Forces; and the Commander of the Suriname Police Force. The Team also made site visits to weapons and ammunition stockpile facilities.

The Team will submit a baseline assessment report and a draft National Action Plan (NAP) to the Government of Suriname by the end of March 2013. The draft NAP will make recommendations for assistance in the areas of stockpile management, firearms and ammunition destruction; legal and policy review and development; and training and capacity-building of law enforcement officials, including an Inter-Institutional Training Course on Combating Illicit Firearms Trafficking (IITC) and Surinamese participation in a Caribbean Regional Armoury Management Training Course. The assistance provided by UNLIREC will contribute to the combat of illicit trafficking of firearms, ammunition and explosives and thus to greater security in Suriname and the region.

UNLIREC, the regional arm of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, is based in Lima, Peru and serves 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. A key element of UNLIREC’s mandate is to assist States in the implementation of arms control and disarmament programmes, such as the implementation of the 2001 UN Programme of Action on Small Arms.

For further information on UNLIREC visit (www.unlirec.org). For inquiries please contact: Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer: cowl@unlirec.org

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