UNLIREC assists Jamaica to combat illicit firearms through firearms destruction and capacity building

Closing ceremony and awarding of certificate for the Inter-institutional Training Course on Combating Illicit Firearms Trafficking (Photo: Julian Bastamante)
At the Jamaica Coast Guard base at Port Royal, obsolete, surplus and seized firearms collected by the Firearms Licensing Authority (FLA) are recorded and certified for destruction. Once certified, they were transported for incineration in an industrial rotary kiln furnace. (Photo: Juliet Solomon)
At the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Armoury in Kingston, Inspector Sheryl Brown records the make, caliber and serial number into each destruction certificates. She is supervised by Superintendent Samuel Morgan, who is responsible for the Armoury. William Godnick, UNLIREC Public Security Programme Coordinator observes the process.

In February 2012, UNODA’s Regional Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) provided technical expertise and assistance to Jamaica for the destruction of 1,951 seized, obsolete and surplus firearms and approximately ½ ton of ammunition. The firearms destruction, which was carried out in compliance with international standards will reduce the risk of diversion into the illicit market and contribute to preventing armed violence, thus improving national and regional security.

UNLIREC also assisted Jamaica in building the capacity of Jamaican security personnel in combating illicit firearms through a 10-day training course. This training focused on firearms proliferation and its negative impact on human security, international legal framework, investigative techniques, stockpile management and firearms destruction, and firearms classification, as well as on practical disarmament measures and enhancing cooperation among the national institutions.

The training is part of UNLIREC’s firearms assistance programme for Caribbean countries and benefited from financial support from Canada and the United States of America. The training course received a “regional best practice” award for firearms control at the meeting “Building a Safer Central America” in November 2010.