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Give more attention to arms trafficking, Ellington tells policymakers

Published:Wednesday | June 12, 2019 | 4:57 PM
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Assan Thompson, speaking with retired Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington, and Opposition Spokesperson on National Security, Fitz Jackson, at the CMU's Counter Terrorism and Non Proliferation Conference held at the university on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 – Kenyon Hemans photo.

Andre Williams, Staff Reporter

Former police commissioner, Owen Ellington, has asserted that policymakers are not doing enough to counter the issue of arms trafficking.

Ellington, now the Director of the Centre for Security, Counter Terrorism and Non-Proliferation at the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), made the assertion during the inaugural conference on countering proliferation challenges in the Caribbean.

The two-day conference being held at the university’s Kingston location began this morning.

According to Ellington, there are related factors that require keen attention including access to guns, interest in trafficking and motives of traffickers.

The country's 27th police commissioner, who served from 2010 to 2014, argued that Jamaica continues to feature in the top three and top five most dangerous countries, citing figures from international human rights watchdog group Amnesty International.

Meanwhile, O'neil Hamilton, Regional Coordinator for the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 in the Caribbean Community, argued that while attention should be given to the proliferation of guns and small arms, similar focus should placed on chemical and biological agents as well.

According to Hamilton, these factors are threats to economic and daily life.

Resolution 1540 calls for all States shall refrain from providing any form of support to non-State actors that attempt to develop, acquire, manufacture, possess, transport, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, in particular for terrorist purposes.

The resolution requires all States to adopt and enforce appropriate laws to this effect as well as other effective measures to prevent the proliferation of these weapons and their means of delivery to non-State actors, in particular for terrorist purposes.

The two-day conference is a collaborative effort between CMU and James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies based in Washington DC.

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