NEW YORK, USA — 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 a set of small arms destruction equipment to Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada and trained national officers on the use of the equipment.
These activities aim to strengthen the capacity of the countries concerned to combat the illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons nationally, as well as in the Caribbean region.
The Regional Centre provided a set of hydraulic shears to assist Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada 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.
The Centre provided training on the use and maintenance of the shears to ten officers from the Saint 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 Regional 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 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.
The Centre’s assistance to Caribbean states also 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.
This assistance package is implemented with the financial support of the United States.