|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
United Nations Regional Centre for Disarmament in Latin America and the Caribbean
Training Course Wins Award for Regional Best Practice on Firearms Control
NEW YORK, 30 November (Office for Disarmament Affairs) — The Inter Institutional Training Course on Combating Illicit Firearms Trafficking (IITC) of the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-LiREC) has won recognition for “Best Practice” in the category of Regional Arms Control Initiatives.
The IITC was recognized as a tangible contribution to the development of a comprehensive regional security strategy for Central America and Mexico. Bestowing the honour, on 25 October at the “Compromiso Centroamérica” meeting on “Building a safe Central America”, were the General Secretariat of the Central American Integration System (SICA), the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Regional Centre or Latin America and the Caribbean and the Spanish International Cooperation Agency for Development (AECID).
One of UN-LiREC’s most successful undertakings, the IITC is a 10-day training course (7.5 days of classroom theory and 2.5 days of field simulation exercises), targets mid-level personnel from the military, police, intelligence, judicial and customs services. It focuses on providing participants with the conceptual, technical and institutional coordination skills required to prevent, reduce and eliminate illicit trafficking in firearms, ammunition and explosives.
The course’s field exercise recreates the actual conditions of an intervention against illicit firearms trafficking, including intelligence gathering, crime scene management as well as the presentation of evidence and testimony before a judge. The course advances and strengthens participants’ knowledge and judgement so they can act responsibly on issues involving human rights, legitimate and responsible use of force, gender sensitivity and child protection. It also offers training on more technical matters such as accurate identification and tracing of firearms and ammunition, and the preparation of evidence in criminal proceedings.
UN-LiREC’s training programme is designed to help Latin American and Caribbean States in their implementation of the 2001 United Nations Programme of Action on the illicit trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in all its aspects, and related decisions adopted by Member States during subsequent meetings. Since 2004, the programme has trained more than 2,700 law-enforcement officials from 14 Latin American and Caribbean countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay).
The training course was recently upgraded with additional modules relevant to States' implementation of the International Tracing Instrument, the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, and the gender guidelines of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs for effective implementation of the Programme of Action. Taking into account the lessons learned and good practices developed since its inception, the course also addresses core elements of criminal and judicial processes that many Latin American and Caribbean countries are currently undertaking.
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