UNLIREC and the Government of Grenada join efforts to combat illicit small arms trafficking on small island states

On 11 and 12 March, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) assisted the Government of Grenada (GoG) in the destruction of over 76,000 rounds of obsolete small arms ammunition and 120 confiscated small arms. On 13 March, UNLIREC also convened a national seminar to review the national firearms act and other relevant policy measures.

Weapons were destroyed in accordance with UNLIREC’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which incorporate the UN International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS), using a set of hydraulic shears donated to the government of Grenada by UNLIREC in 2012. Ammunition was also destroyed using a field expedient method in keeping with UNLIREC’s SOPs derived from the UN International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG). UNLIREC provided training to two Royal Grenada Police Force officers and independently monitored both destruction activities. Since 2012, UNLIREC and the Government of Grenada have destroyed almost 400 weapons and over 3.1 tonnes of ammunition.

Following destruction activities, UNLIREC and the government of Grenada convened a national seminar to review the national firearms and explosives act in light of the relevant international agreements, such as the UN 2001 Programme of Action on Small Arms. UNLIREC recommended that the government consider ‘adopting legislation regulating firearms marking, firearms and ammunition destruction and brokering on the one hand and strengthening import, export and transit licensing system and existing criminal provisions on the other.’ Participants from various sectors of the Government were present, including the Royal Grenada Police Force, the Ministry of Legal Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Customs.

Grenada currently experiences one of the lowest rates of armed violence in the Caribbean sub-region and is in the fortunate position of being able to focus on prevention both from legal and policy standpoints. UNLIREC destruction assistance, along with its legal study entitled Norms and Legal Instruments on Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives, contribute to preventing and combating illicit firearms trafficking throughout the island state.

UNLIREC’s assistance to Grenada forms part of a broader assistance package to Member States of the Caribbean thanks to the financial support of the U.S. Department of State´s Office for Weapons Removal and Abatement and Bureau for International Security and Nonproliferation.

The Office for Disarmament Affairs’ Regional Disarmament Centres, which includes 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 further information on UNLIREC visit [www.unlirec.org]. For inquiries please contact: Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer [cowl@unlirec.org].

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