UNODA Update

UNLIREC and CIPRODEH promote national dialogue on weapons law in Honduras

UNLIREC and CIPRODEH promote national dialogue on weapons law in Honduras

27 Februrary 2013 — The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) and the Centre for Research and Promotion of Human Rights (CIPRODEH) partnered to support the Secretariat of Security of the Republic of Honduras in organizing a Legal Seminar on the Draft Law for the Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and other Related Materials in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The seminar was held thanks to the generous contribution of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The seminar brought together 62 participants (22 women) from various institutions including the Secretariat for Security, the Secretariat of Defence, the Presidency of the Republic, the National Assembly, civil society organizations, private security companies and shooting sports associations. The seminar was presided over by the Minister of Security Pompeyo Bonilla, while the Honourable Deputy Mario Pérez, President of the Security Commission of the National Congress, moderated the open discussions.

During the seminar, UNLIREC presented a legal report on the draft law vis a vis the international instruments in the global and regional contexts and the International Small Arms Control Standards. It is worth mentioning that this draft bill has been revised and agreed upon by the security and defence sectors of the Government as well as civil society organizations, and is currently awaiting government approval in the National Congress.

The Deputies will have to deliberate and come to a consensus on positions regarding controversial issues, such as the number of licenses and firearms per person and the possession and carrying of these weapons; the minimum age limit for obtaining a firearms license; calibres authorized for civil use and calibres restricted for use by law enforcement authorities; the organization and functioning of ballistic records; and stricter controls for private security companies and their firearms, among others. The draft bill is expected to be debated in the National Congress in the coming weeks.

This activity forms part of the assistance package entitled "Preventing Armed Violence in Central America through the Combat of Illicit Trafficking in Firearms," which supports the efforts made by the States in the region to improve public security and enhance their implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trafficking in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (UN 2001 PoA).

Please direct all questions or inquiries to: Ms. Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer [cowl@unlirec.org].