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Nov 6, 2019

UNLIREC Hosts Workshop in Belize

The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and Global Affairs Canada are hosting a two-day workshop in Belize. Ten Caribbean countries are participating in the workshop to discuss the control chemical, nuclear and biological weapons, as well as weapons of mass destruction. The discussions are focused on how customs authorities can control the trade of these weapons to keep them out of the hands of certain parties. The regional perspective is looking at the components which are legally traded goods.

 

Bart Jones

ACP Bart Jones, UN Security Resolution 1540 Point of Contact

“The workshop in these two days will focus on developing control list. As you know, when we deal with weapons of mass destruction or chemical and biological weapons, a lot of the weapons are made up of components that are legal traded goods and so it is that we need to look at these strategic goods and develop lists of how we are going to control or monitor them, if you will.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Some might say that we never hear of these kinds of weapons in Belize or they don’t pass through here, how relevant is this training for our authorities?”

 

ACP Bart Jones

“You make a good point there and that is some of what the Commissioner said in his opening remarks, that across the region generally you don’t hear of nuclear weapons and we are not a country, particularly Belize, doesn’t deal with nuclear materials. But it is relevant because a lot of the materials that would go into making some of these weapons are legally traded goods, for example, chlorine, fertilizers and other things that can be used with other things to create weapons of mass destruction.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, if the customs authorities see huge shipments, would that raise a red-flag; they are trained to detect these things?”

 

ACP Bart Jones

“Yes that is it and that is the whole reason to develop control list that certain items in certain quantities there is some monitoring, reporting or licensing requirements. As I said, because some of them are legally traded goods because some materials might of nuclear or radiological potential but are for dual use; for medicine, for example. You have x-ray machines and you know that those are good but some of those components can be used otherwise. So, that is why we need the control. It can be used otherwise.”


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