UNLIREC and the Dominican Republic united in the fight against illicit firearms trafficking

(Santo Domingo, November 2011) – The Ministry of State for the Armed Forces was the scene of UNLIREC´s Inter-institutional Training Course on Combating Illicit Firearms Trafficking (IITC), in Santo Domingo, held from 21 November to 2 December in response to requests for assistance from the Dominican authorities. In the same context, the international seminar entitled Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms: Control Measures and Regulations was also undertaken in the capital city on 24 November. Both activities were carried out thanks to the support of the Government of Sweden.

During the opening ceremony, UNLIREC’s Director, C. Mélanie Régimbal, indicated that providing security is necessary to “promote investment in and the sustainable development of a State”. In this regard she ensured that the strengthening of national capacities through initiatives like the IITC, which has improved the training of more than 3,000 security sector personnel throughout the region, is an effective and safe way to attain this goal. The Chief Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of the Armed Forces, Luis Ramón Payan Areché, believes that one of the greatest advantages of the course is that officers work together in addressing the problem and prepares them to become training instructors in their own institutions.

The international seminar organized by the Commission of the Interior and Police from the Chamber of Deputies follows the legal assistance provided by UNLIREC in January 2011 when a legal dictum (opinion) was made on the current bill. On this occasion, a delegation of experts from UNLIREC appeared before the House of Representatives to share its knowledge on firearms classification, as well as promote the usefulness of disarmament campaigns and the importance of international firearms instruments.

UNLIREC’s legal expert, Sonia Fernández, delved into the most important aspects of the legal dictum and emphasized that as a party to various international instruments, the Dominican Republic is responsible for undertaking the necessary measures for their effective implementation.

The Coordinator of the United Nations System in the Dominican Republic, Valerie Julliand, encouraged the representatives to approve a legal framework to better control the possession and bearing of weapons with the aim of improving citizen safety. The president of the Commission of the Interior and Police, Elpidio Baez, said in her speech that both the legal dictum prepared by UNLIREC and the report from the international seminar will be taken into account in drafting the law on possession and bearing of firearms that the Commission of the Interior and Police is currently considering.The Coordinator of the United Nations System in the Dominican Republic, Valerie Julliand, encouraged the representatives to approve a legal framework to better control the possession and bearing of weapons with the aim of improving citizen safety. The president of the Commission of the Interior and Police, Elpidio Baez, said in her speech that both the legal dictum prepared by UNLIREC and the report from the international seminar will be taken into account in drafting the law on possession and bearing of firearms that the Commission of the Interior and Police is currently considering.

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