30 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 Belize

NEW YORK, 30 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 (UNLIREC), provided a set of small arms destruction equipment to Belize and trained national officers on the use of the equipment.  These activities aim to strengthen the capacity of Belize 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 Belizein having a permanent and sustainable capacity to destroy surplus, obsolete and confiscated small arms and light weapons.  On 28 May, the Centre provided training on use of the shears to 12 officers from the Belize Police Department, Defence Force, and the Customs and Prison Departments, which resulted in the symbolic destruction of 40 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.

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

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For information media • not an official record