On 17 September, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, conducted a Seminar on Arms and Ammunition Import Control in San Salvador with particular focus on private entities (private security companies -PSCs and gun shops) as end-users. The Seminar boasted the participation of authorities and representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice and Public Security, National Civilian Police, Customs and Ministry of Defense as entities responsible for the authorization and control of arms transfers.
Throughout the seminar legal provisions found in international instruments and guidelines related to arms import control were addressed by emphasizing on those outlined in the national system of arms imports in El Salvador. Furthermore, UNLIREC presented its risk assessment methodology to assist States in evaluating arms and ammunition imports. Special focus was given to cases in which the private security sector is the arms importer and intended end-user. The seminar ended with two practical simulation exercises and small-group discussions, in which participants were encouraged to apply UNLIREC´s risk assessment methodology.
Participants stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation and coordination between national entities with responsibilities in international transfers control to prevent straw purchases, diversion and illicit arms transfers.
Since 2015 UNLIREC has been implementing assistance projects in El Salvador on small arms and ammunition control in the private security sector. The implementation of this Project is possible thanks to the financial support of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.