UNIDIR completes 5th regional training on ISACS Assessment Tool in the Pacific

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WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND — The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and the ISACS Inter-Agency Support Unit — in cooperation with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police (PICP), the UNDP Pacific Centre and the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) — conducted the 5th regional training-of-trainers workshop on the International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) and its Assessment Tool at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Wellington from 2–5 December 2014.

The ISACS Assessment Tool facilitates the application of the International Small Arms Control Standards in the design, monitoring and evaluation of small arms control policies, programmes and practices.   

The Superintendent of the PICP Secretariat, Mr. Shepherd Waata, together with members of the Royal New Zealand Police College, formally opened the workshop with a traditional Māori pōwhiri welcoming ceremony. 

The workshop trained 12 policy, technical and law enforcement officers working in the Asia Pacific region on how to use ISACS and its Assessment Tool to guide their operational work on small arms and light weapons control, specifically in the areas of stockpile management; marking, record keeping & tracing; and border controls & law enforcement cooperation.  

Participants came from the Police Forces of Samoa and Tonga; the secretariats of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Oceania Customs Organization; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan; the UNDP Pacific Centre, the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific; the Pacific Small Arms Action Group and Peace Foundation Melanesia.

In addition to imparting proficiency on ISACS and its Assessment Tool, the workshop supported the PIF Secretariat and Member States to prepare national reports on the implementation of the UN Programme of Action against the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons and the International Tracing Instrument.  

The workshop explored preliminary ideas for a comprehensive action plan on small arms control for the Pacific region, building on the formation of a regional technical expert group on firearms and a series of activities intended to build capacity for effective small arms control.

The workshop also included guided visits to the firearms training facility of the New Zealand Police College and the National Police Armoury during which participants learned first-hand about effective practices in the management of police firearms. 

This was the 5th and final regional training workshop on ISACS and its Assessment Tool organised by UNIDIR during the second half of 2014 in cooperation with the ISACS Inter-Agency Support Unit and in partnership with regional organisations. The previous workshops were held in:

  1. Europe (22-24 July in Belgrade, Serbia, in partnership with UNDP/SEESAC); 
  2. Latin America (19-20 August in Lima, Peru, in partnership with UNLIREC);
  3. The Caribbean (25-27 August in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, in partnership with CARICOM IMPACS); and
  4. Africa (22-24 September in Nairobi, Kenya, in partnership with IPSTC, HPSS, RECSA, and UNREC).

This series of workshops has trained 86 small arms control professionals (29 percent of them female) from 34 organizations working in 28 countries in 11 regions or sub-regions to use ISACS and its Assessment Tool to support the design, monitoring and evaluation of small arms and light weapon control programmes in accordance with international standards.

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