Regional meeting for the Community of Practitioners against Firearms Trafficking and Related Offences in Latin America by the UNODC Global Firearms Programme
In the framework of the project “Countering transnational illicit arms trafficking through the implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime and its Firearms Protocol”, the UNODC Global Firearms Programme organised a regional meeting for criminal justice practitioners from Latin American countries in charge of preventing, detecting, investigating and prosecuting firearms trafficking. The regional meeting was organised on 13 and 14 December 2022 in Panama City. The focus was on supporting the development of a Digest of Illicit Firearms Cases (to be published by the UNODC Global Firearms Programme in 2022). The aim of the Digest will be to illustrate through practical cases and examples the implementation of the Firearms Protocol and to provide good practices and lessons learned to practitioners in the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of these cases. This meeting in particular aimed to enhance the common understanding among practitioners in the region of investigative strategies and approaches, best practices and common obstacles when dealing with illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, their parts and components and ammunition as well as related crimes. The interactive discussions were based on the exchange and analysis of real-life cases presented by the national practitioners and thereby contributed to a peer-to-peer learning process.
The project “Countering transnational illicit arms trafficking through the implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its Firearms Protocol” has as its overall objective to prevent and counter the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, and their links to transnational organised crime and terrorism, through the ratification and implementation of the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their parts and Components and Ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). The project is implemented by the Global Firearms Programme (GFP), established by the first project funded by the European Union (EU) (IFS /2010 /259-204), which builds upon five interconnected pillars, including: (1) adequate policy and legislative frameworks, (2) implementation of comprehensive firearms control and regulatory frameworks, (3) effective criminal justice responses to illicit trafficking and related crimes, (4) broad international cooperation and regular exchanges of information and expertise through communities of practitioners, and (5) enhanced knowledge and intelligence on firearms trafficking to monitor illicit trafficking flows.
The project’s outcomes aim at supporting these interconnected building blocks, and the activities programmed in order to achieve them include four outputs, namely: (1) increase awareness of the firearms issue and its international responses, and adequate policy and legislative frameworks in place, in line with relevant international and regional instruments; (2) increase capacities of countries and sub-regions to implement effective firearms control regimes in line with the Firearms Protocol and other relevant instruments, and to prevent, investigate and prosecute firearms trafficking and related offences through effective national response and international law enforcement and judicial cooperation; (3) support effective cooperation and sharing of information and good practices among communities of firearms and organised crime/terrorism practitioners, through regular contacts and use of specialised cooperation networks and platforms and taking advantage of existing initiatives; and (4) improve capacity to monitor, analyse and identify synergies for firearms legislation and case-law with and amongst other forms of transnational organised crime, including cybercrime, money laundering, illicit drug trafficking, smuggling of migrants, or terrorism, inter alia.