OSCE, UN, INTERPOL help Central Asian States trace illicit small arms using ISACS, iArms, iTrace

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ISTANBUL, TURKEY — The OSCE, the United Nations and INTERPOL teamed up in Istanbul this week for a sub-regional workshop to help build the capacity of Central Asian States to trace illicit small arms and light weapons.  

The workshop followed up on the "Inaugural Conference on Tracing Illicit SALW in the OSCE Area” co-organised by the OSCE, the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and INTERPOL in Vienna in May 2013.  

Officials from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan participated in the workshop.  Participants were drawn from law enforcement agencies (inlcuding military police), prosecutor’s offices, ministries of interior and of foreign affairs, counter-intelligence, firearms licensing departments and INTERPOL National Central Bureaux.  

The ISACS Inter-Agency Support Unit briefed participants on the utility of ISACS in guiding the implementation of effective systems of marking, record-keeping and tracing of small arms and light weapons.  The UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) guided participants through a practical exercise on assessing national practices on marking and record-keeping, using the ISACS Assessment tool that it has developed.  

INTERPOL trained participants on identifying firearms using the INTERPOL Firearms Reference Table (IFRT) and on running trace requests through its iARMS system.  Conflict Armament Research introduced participants to its soon-to-be-launched iTrace system; and the UK National Ballistics Intelligence Service (NABIS) shared practical experience of the benefits of using the INTERPOL Ballistic Information Network (IBIN) in tracing crime guns.