From 27 to 31 May 2013, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) assisted the government of Barbados in the destruction of 1,500 seized and obsolete weapons and 1.9 tonnes of small arms ammunition, time-expired CS gas, anti-riot grenades and other explosives.
All small arms were destroyed using a set of hydraulic shears donated to the government of Barbados by UNLIREC, while the ammunition was destroyed using a UNLIREC-designed small arms ammunition burning tank (SAABT). All weapons and ammunition destroyed were documented in accordance with international standards and UNLIREC’s standard operating procedures.
At the handover ceremony held at the Central Police Station, Barbadian Police Commissioner Darwin Dottin underscored “… the very high level of violence and criminal use of firearms is promoting violence in [the] region” and praised UNLIREC for donating equipment that would aid the Police Force in the destruction of the surplus and obsolete weapons and ammunition.
UNLIREC also provided training to twelve officials from both the Police and Defence forces on the use of the hydraulic shears, while three officials were trained on its maintenance. Ten officials were trained on Small Arms Ammunition and Pyrotechnic Burning Tank (SAABT and PBT) Operations. The equipment and training was provided in order to ensure that Barbados has the necessary permanent technical and human capacity to destroy surplus, obsolete and confiscated arms and ammunition in the future.
The donation of this equipment and technical assistance forms part of a wider UNLIREC programme for firearms destruction and stockpile management support to Caribbean States aimed at combating illicit trafficking by reducing the risk of theft and diversion from government holdings of firearms, ammunition and explosives. The activities carried out were made possible thanks to the financial support of the Government of the United States of America.
UNLIREC serves 33 countries in the region in assisting them in the development of disarmament policies and the implementation of international disarmament instruments, most notably the UN 2001 Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons.
For more information on UNLIREC visit http://www.unlirec.org. Please direct all questions or inquiries to: Ms. Amanda Cowl, Political Affairs Officer at (firstname.lastname@example.org).