UN provides equipment and training for small arms destruction
NEW YORK, USA, Friday June 08, 2012 – St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada will benefit from a United Nation’s (UN) assistance package aimed at strengthening their capacity to combat the illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons nationally, as well as in the Caribbean region.
The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, through its Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), has provided the island states with a set of small arms destruction equipment and trained national officers on its use.
The Regional Centre provided a set of hydraulic shears to assist the islands in having a permanent and sustainable capacity to destroy surplus, obsolete and confiscated small arms and light weapons. UNLIREC also trained officers of the respective countries’ police forces.
Training on the use and maintenance of the shears was provided to ten officers from the St Vincent and the Grenadines police, which resulted in the symbolic destruction of 85 rifles, shotguns and pistols. Another ten officials were trained in Grenada, resulting in the destruction of 154 weapons.
The Centre previously undertook a national baseline assessment and provided 40 international standard padlocks to strengthen weapons stockpile safety and security.
The provision of this equipment by the Centre is part of its “Firearms Destruction and Stockpile Management Assistance Package for Caribbean States”. This assistance package aims at assisting Caribbean states to combat illicit arms trafficking and to implement relevant international and regional disarmament instruments such as the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms.
The assistance package also aids states to reduce the risk of theft and diversion from government holdings of operational, confiscated, surplus and obsolete small arms, light weapons, ammunition and explosives.
Additionally, the assistance to Caribbean states includes the development of independent weapons monitoring and verification methodologies; the establishment of safe and efficient methods for the destruction of small arms, light weapons, ammunition and explosives based on United Nations standards; and the legal review of national small arms legislation.
The package is implemented with the financial support of the United States.