SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, Monday April 23, 2012 – The Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Dominican Republic signed a cooperation agreement on Friday which will allow them to carry out the “Promoting Firearms Marking in Latin American and the Caribbean” project.
This project seeks to strengthen national arms control capabilities in the region. Through the agreement the OAS will present the Dominican Republic with a firearms marking machine donated by the United States.
OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza said in a news release that the illicit trafficking of weapons was one of the main problems associated with organised crime.
He made these comments during the signing ceremony of the agreement at the OAS headquarters in Washington, Dc.
Mr. Insulza stressed it was important to have procedures to follow the trade of illegal weapons as they were traded illegally across the region.
Friday’s agreement was reached within the framework of the Convention against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms (CIFTA, the first binding treaty on the matter.
Mr. Insulza stated that such an agreement was expected to bring thousands of illegal firearms throughout the hemisphere under control and prevent their use by criminals.
Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the OAS, Robert Bernardo Saladin said in the release that the firearms marking machine meant the country had one more tool in the fight against illegal guns.
Meanwhile, deputy director of Weapons Removal and Abatement at the U.S. State Department, Mr. Steven Costner said one of the most important ways to address illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons was to effectively trace them.