UNLIREC promotes inter-institutional coordination to combat illicit firearms trafficking in the Dominican Republic

The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) in collaboration with the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Interior and Police, held a seminar on Inter-Institutional Coordination Mechanisms to combat illicit firearms trafficking on 17 September 2013 in Santo Domingo.

The seminar brought together 16 representatives from different institutions including the Armed Forces Ministry, Ministry of Interior and Police, National Police, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Chamber of Deputies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Arms System, and the Directorate General of Customs. The event was chaired by the Deputy Ministers of Social Management and Public Security of the Ministry of Interior and Police, as well as UNLIREC representatives, and included the participation of representatives from the Central American Programme on Small Arms Control (CASAC).

The seminar, which coincided with the Global Week of Action against Gun Violence, addressed issues closely related to the prevention and reduction of violence committed with firearms, as well as the national mechanisms aimed at coordinating inter-institutional efforts to tackle public safety challenges, such as armed violence and the illicit trafficking of firearms. Discussion focused on the gaps and difficulties in dealing with the scourge of illicit trafficking, while at the same time on good practices adopted in the region. Finally, this activity offered a platform for dialogue on reforming the current legal framework – a process currently under way – with a view to adopting a new firearms law.

This initiative forms part of an overall sub-regional assistance package that UNLIREC offers to Caribbean States, which initiated in the Dominican Republic in 2010. The assistance package contains activities aimed at improving stockpile management and weapons destruction; providing legal assistance; and training security sector representatives. This assistance is made possible thanks to the generous contribution from the United States Government.

As the Regional Centre of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, UNLIREC serves 33 States in the region in assisting them in the development of disarmament policies and the implementation of international disarmament instruments, most notably the UN 2001 Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

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

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