Weapon Destruction in Paraguay
In September, the Government of the Republic of Paraguay, with the assistance of the United Nations, successfully carried out the destruction of an estimated 80 tons of ammunition. The project was an effort to promote peace and to prevent the illicit traffic of arms through the reduction of weapons stockpiles. It was also an endeavour to implement both the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials and the United Nations 2001 Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.
The United Nations assisted in monitoring and verifying the destruction process. The participants included: the UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission of the Organization of American States, the Small Arms and Demobilization Unit of the UN Development Programme, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Education, the War Material Directorate and the Paraguayan Steel Company.
As part of the effort, a symbolic destruction of arms occurred on 30 September. Hundreds of students and high level public officials attended the UN assisted event. In another event, police, judges, customs officials and inspectors participated in a seminar designed to stimulate discussions related to national firearms legislation.