From 4-15 November 2013 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), in collaboration with the government of Trinidad and Tobago, steered an armoury management course at the Caribbean Regional Armoury Management Training Centre located at the Police Service (TTPS) Academy at the St James Barracks.
This course is the second of its kind to be held in Trinidad and Tobago by UNLIREC, having recently inaugurated the training centre in June 2013 with a national course, where twelve officials from the security sector in Trinidad and Tobago were trained.
On this occasion, thirteen security sector officials from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahamas, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago were trained to manage, store, secure, inspect, maintain, repair and destroy small arms and its ammunition over the two week period in keeping with internationally-accepted norms.
This regional course employed the ‘training-the-trainers’ concept whereby the armourers previously trained during the national course were given the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise with course participants. It is intended that the officials trained in this course will impart their knowledge in their respective countries, ensuring, at a regional level, a pool of professionals responsible for weapons storage, management and accountability, thus contributing to reducing the risk of proliferation.Course Valedictorian Samuel Morgan stated that “[…] the armoury management course is a truly beneficial programme that enhances our skills and competencies as armourers and will enable us to give greater quality of service to the police and armed forces of the Caribbean […].”
During the second week of the course, as part and parcel of stockpile management best practices, participants were also trained in planning and operations to carry out periodic weapons destruction. 122 confiscated and obsolete weapons from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service were destroyed and documented in accordance with UNLIREC’s standard operating procedures, which are based on UN International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS). All weapons were destroyed using equipment previously donated to the government of Trinidad and Tobago by UNLIREC.
This initiative forms part of a wider UNLIREC Caribbean Firearms Assistance Package, which has trained more than 670 officials in the combat of illicit trafficking and destroyed more than 40,000 weapons and 57 tonnes of ammunition. This component was made possible thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of State´s Bureau for International Security and Non-Proliferation.
UNLIREC, as the regional organ of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, seeks to advance the cause of practical disarmament in Latin America and the Caribbean as part of its commitment to support Member States in their implementation of international disarmament and non-proliferation instruments, in particular, the UN 2001 Programme of Action on Small Arms.
For more information on UNLIREC visit (www.unlirec.org.) Please direct all questions or inquiries to Ms Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer, at cowl[at]unlirec.org