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News : International : Organization of American States (OAS) Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

OAS to Execute a Firearms Marking Project in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Panama, and Peru
Feb 6, 2012 - 7:50:43 PM

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From left to right: Hubert J. Charles, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Dominica to the OAS; Guillermo Cochez, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Panama to the OAS; Deborah Mae Lovell, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the OAS; José Miguel Insulza, OAS Secretary General; Carmen Lomellin, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the United States to the OAS; Raul Salazar, Minister, Interim Representative of Peru to the OAS; and Albert R. Ramdin, OAS Assistant Secretary General Date: February 06, 2012 Place: Washington, DC Credit: Juan Manuel Herrera/OAS

The Organization of American States (OAS) will execute its program "Promoting Firearms Marking in Latin America and the Caribbean" in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Panama and Peru according to a Cooperation Agreement signed today, which establishes that the four countries will receive the necessary equipment to identify weapons and process registration information.

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza stated that with the signing of this agreement "the countries will not only acquire the technical capacity to develop specific actions to prevent and combat illegal arms trafficking but will also show their willingness and commitment to address the challenges of criminal activity for the security and welfare of citizens."

With this agreement, he added, "the States of our region send an unequivocal message of their will to reinforce our democratic capacity, enhance the concept of citizenship and the rights of people," he said, because "when security is at stake, as it is in our region, it affects the integrity and the role of the State and the democratic institutions. That is what we want to protect."

The head of the OAS thanked the Government of the United States for its support for the program through which today "20 countries of the Hemisphere have strengthened their capacities to protect the lives of their citizens." The Secretary General also stressed that the Organization will "unequivocally continue to support the efforts to reduce, combat and thwart trafficking of weapons, which makes it so difficult today in our region to combat organized crime."

The Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the OAS, Ambassador Deborah-Mae Lovell, said the signing of this agreement is "a significant step in the fight against crime, and we are very pleased to join the global effects of marking of firearms. "

The Permanent Representative of Panama, Ambassador Guillermo Cochez, said the agreement signed today is a "positive step necessary to ensure the safety of our citizens," because it allows countries to "strengthen cooperation and promote information sharing among government authorities responsible nationally, regionally and internationally."

The Permanent Representative of Dominica, Ambassador Hubert J. Charles, said his government "is pleased to be part of this important agreement, which is one of the key mechanisms for the prevention and trafficking of firearms," and expressed support for the program "extends to the Caribbean."

The Alternate Representative of Peru, Raul Salazar, for his part, highlighted the efficacy demonstrated by running programs such as this and welcomed his country's entry into the project. "We should not look at grandiose schemes for arms control that do not have much impact on the reality of public safety in our region," he concluded.

On behalf of the donor country, the United States Permanent Representative to the OAS, Ambassador Carmen Lomellín, expressed her government's commitment "to help all OAS Member States in preventing and eradicating the illicit trafficking of arms in the region."

The signing of these cooperation agreements is part of the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), and seeks to strengthen national capacities in terms of marking firearms. The signing ceremony was held at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, and was attended, among others, by the Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Albert Ramdin, and the Secretary for Multidimensional Security, Adam Blackwell.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.

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