18 May 2012
Press Release

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs Provides


Small Arms Destruction Equipment to the Bahamas


NEW YORK, 18 May (Office for Disarmament Affairs) — In May, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, through its Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, provided a set of small arms destruction equipment to the Bahamas and trained national officers on the use of the equipment.  These activities aim to strengthen the capacity of the Bahamas 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 the Bahamas in having a permanent and sustainable capacity to destroy surplus, obsolete and confiscated small arms, and light weapons.  The Centre trained 16 officers of the Bahamas Police Force, Defence Force, Customs, Immigration and Prison Service.  At a symbolic donation ceremony, 42 weapons were destroyed by the trainees.

The Regional 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 helping Caribbean States combat illicit arms trafficking and 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 Regional 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 UN standards; and the legal review of national small arms legislation.

This Assistance Package is implemented with the financial support of the United States.

For more information on the Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, please visit the website, www.unlirec.org, or direct questions or inquiries to Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer, at e-mail:  cowl@unlirec.org.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record