UNODA Update

United Nations assists the Dominican Republic in the destruction of illicit, obsolete, and surplus firearms and ammunition

On 10 May 2013, the Dominican Republic, assisted by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, through its Regional Centre in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), completed the destruction of over 30,000 firearms and 30 tonnes of ammunition. This cooperation between the United Nations and the Dominican Republic was led by the Ministry of the Armed Forces and demonstrates the successful implementation of the National Action Plan for Stockpile Management and Firearms and Ammunition Destruction, jointly developed by UNLIREC and the Ministry in 2010. Both activities were funded by the United States Department of State (Office for Weapons Removal and Abatement). This initiative is in support of the implementation of the 2001 Programme of Action on Small Arms.

Ms. Melanie Régimbal, Director of UNLIREC, stated on the occasion that "by destroying obsolete, surplus or illicit firearms and bullets the Dominican Republic ensures that these weapons no longer have the potential to kill, hurt or threaten someone."

Ms. Régimbal praised the active participation of two female officers from the governmental ammunition depot as technical team leaders in the final phase of the destruction process. Such participation is in line with Security Council and UN General Assembly resolutions calling for greater participation of women in disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control activities.

Since 2010, UNLIREC has provided the Dominican Republic armed forces with equipment, technical assistance and training on international safety and security standards for firearm stockpiles. This project was implemented in 40 governmental firearm and ammunition stockpiles. In addition to the small arms and ammunition destroyed, 50 officers were trained in stockpile management and arms destruction. The next phase of the UNLIREC assistance will focus on training judges and prosecutors on issues of small arms.

UNLIREC, the regional arm of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, based in Lima, Peru, assists 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in their implementation of arms control and disarmament programmes and instruments. These include the UN 2001 Programme of Action on Small Arms and the International Small Arms Control Standards and the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines.

For more information on UNLIREC visit . Please direct all questions or inquiries to: Ms. Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer at (cowl@unlirec.org).