UNLIREC and Government of The Bahamas continue cooperation for destruction of weapons and ammunition

From 12 to 15 November 2012, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) and the Government of The Bahamas destroyed 431confiscated firearms held by the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) and the Customs and Immigration Department, as well as 2.3 tonnes of obsolete and confiscated small arms ammunition. Both destruction processes were monitored by UNLIREC and Bahamian government representatives and served to demonstrate the Government´s commitment to implement the UN Programme of Action on small arms.

All firearms were destroyed using a set of hydraulic shears donated by UNLIREC to the Government of the Bahamas in May 2012 using UNLIREC Standard Operating Procedures, which are based on the UN International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS). The ammunition destruction took place at the Police Firing Range using UNLIREC Standard Operating Procedures for field expedient small arms ammunition destruction, which are based on the UN International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG). Ten Bahamian government officials were trained during the UNLIREC mission, thus establishing a long-term technical and human resource capacity in The Bahamas to destroy surplus, obsolete and confiscated weapons and ammunition over time. The periodic destruction of surplus, obsolete and confiscated weapons and ammunition constitutes one of the most effective means of ensuring that they do not make their way back onto the streets and/or are not diverted to criminal networks.

The technical support provided to the Government of The Bahamas forms part of UNLIREC´s Firearms and Ammunition Stockpile Management and Destruction Assistance Package for the Caribbean, supported thanks to a grant provided by the United States Department of State´s Office for Weapons Removal and Abatement.

The Office for Disarmament Affairs’ Regional Disarmament Centres, which include UNLIREC, serves over 135 countries worldwide and assists them in the implementation of arms control and disarmament programmes, such as the implementation of the UN 2001 Programme of Action on Small Arms.

For more information on UNLIREC visit (www.unlirec.org.) Please direct all questions or inquiries to: Ms. Carina Van Vliet, Political Affairs Officer at (vanvliet@unlirec.org)

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