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 UN trains local security forces to destroy guns

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PostSubject: UN trains local security forces to destroy guns   Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:07 am

UN trains local security forces to destroy guns

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Personnel from the United Nations Office for Disarmament’s Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) are currently training 60 local security sector personnel to destroy firearms and ammunition. The training is taking place in co-operation with the Government of T&T as part of joint efforts to combat the illicit trafficking in firearms, strengthen the capacity of the country’s security forces and reduce armed violence in T&T and the region.

This two-week project is part of the UNLIREC Caribbean Assistance Programme, launched in T&T in July 2010 and carried out in eight Caribbean countries with the financial support of Canada and the United States. Many years of UN work, conducted worldwide, concluded that compliance with international standards reduces drastically the risk of diversion of firearms into the illicit market through theft, loss and “leakages” from stockpiles owned by governments or private security companies. The UNLIREC training of security personnel, coupled with its assistance to the Government’s destruction of surplus and obsolete weapons, will contribute to greater security in T&T and the Caribbean. The destruction of expired ammunition and explosives will also reduce significantly the risk of accidental explosions.

At the request of the Government, UNLIREC provides its technical expertise and assistance, as well as specialised training and equipment, to the Ministry of National Security for its destruction of seized, obsolete and unserviceable firearms and a large quantity of expired ammunition as well as explosives. A formal destruction ceremony by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service will be held on Saturday at the St James Police Barracks to demonstrate the commitment of the Government to join forces with the UN to combat and eradicate illicit trafficking in weapons and ammunition. “Destruction is the best, and irreversible, way to ensure that surplus weapons and illicit firearms, including those confiscated from criminals, do not find their way back into the hands of those who threaten the lives of innocent and the security of communities,” declared Agnès Marcaillou, representative of the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs.

During the same period, UNLIREC will train 60 military, police and law enforcement personnel, women and men alike, during a ten-day comprehensive course addressing all aspects of illicit firearms trafficking. The Office for Disarmament Affairs’ Regional Disarmament Centres, which includes UNLIREC, serves more than 135 countries worldwide and assists them in implementation of arms control and disarmament programmes.

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