Latin American, Caribbean States Meet in Lima to Discuss Preventing Diversion, Unplanned Explosions of Ammunition

LIMA, 20 May (Office for Disarmament Affairs) — This week, States from Latin America and the Caribbean will gather in Lima, Peru, to discuss the implementation of the recently adopted Global Framework for Through-life Conventional Ammunition Management.  They will identify regional priorities and needs, as well as region-specific challenges and opportunities for translating the political commitments under this Global Framework into concrete action.

The diversion and illicit trafficking of conventional ammunition plays a central role in initiating, facilitating and fuelling armed conflict, violence, crime and terrorism.  The explosive nature of conventional ammunition makes it especially useful in the manufacture of improvised explosive devices by non-State armed groups.  And over the past decades, tens of thousands of people have been killed and injured due to unplanned explosions at munitions sites, often causing environmental damage and destroying livelihoods and infrastructure.

To address these challenges, United Nations Member States adopted the Global Framework for Through-life Conventional Ammunition Management in December 2023.  Its endorsement by the General Assembly was a milestone in global efforts aimed at reducing the risks and human costs of illicit trafficking, diversion and misuse of ammunition, and preventing unplanned explosions at munition sites. Kicking off a series of regional meetings, Latin American and Caribbean States will gather this week in Lima to discuss regional priorities and needs, as well as region-specific challenges and opportunities for translating the political commitments under the Global Framework into regional and national action.

The two-day meeting, taking place on 20 and 21 May, will provide a forum for representatives from Latin American and Caribbean States, as well as UN entities and regional and non-governmental organizations to examine the 15 objectives of the Global Framework.  These objectives include measures to promote the sustainability, safety and security of through-life conventional ammunition management at every stage from the point of manufacture, transfer, transport, stockpiling and recovery to their ultimate disposal.

Thematic presentations and group discussions will cover good practices to reduce the risk of diversion and illicit trafficking, including through promoting transparency in supply chains, analysing diversion risks prior to transfers, enhancing marking and record-keeping for tracing purposes, and improving ammunition diversion investigations through data collection, cooperation and information-sharing.  Participants will also discuss how effective stockpile management mitigates the risk of unplanned explosions at munitions sites.  Such measures include adequate and systematic surveillance, effective inventory systems and risk reduction processes, such as limiting the quantity of explosives in a storehouse and locating depots away from inhabited areas.

Participants will exchange views on how existing regional and subregional mechanisms, instruments and road maps can be strengthened to support the implementation of the Global Framework.  Needs-driven, integrative and sustainable approaches to international assistance, including through the application of the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines, will also be explored.  Participants will also focus on strengthening of the meaningful participation of women in this sector and the mainstreaming of gender in ammunition management policies and practices.

The regional meeting further offers Latin American and Caribbean States an opportunity to identify regional, subregional and national priorities related to conventional ammunition ahead of the Preparatory Meeting of States next year, which will launch the dedicated follow-up and review process of the Global Framework.

The regional meeting is hosted by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and its Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean.  It takes place in the context of a project by the Office for Disarmament Affairs that seeks to raise awareness and support the implementation of the Global Framework supported by Germany.

More information on the Global Framework for Through-life Conventional Ammunition Management is available at:  https://disarmament.unoda.org/convarms/ammunition/#gfammunition.

For additional details on the regional meeting, please contact Nora Allgaier, Political Affairs Officer at email:  nora.allgaier@un.org.

For information media. Not an official record.