With the support of the European Union, UNODC donated a firearms marking equipment to the Ministry of Defense.

La Paz, August 23rd, 2021 (United Nations). Thanks to the financial support of the European Union, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) delivered a Micro Percussion Machine for Firearms Marking with the aim of identifying and locating, without difficulties, each of the firearms that enter and circulate in Bolivia and strengthen the efforts of national authorities to optimize the control of illicit trafficking of firearms.

Bolivia adhered to the Firearms Protocol, in 2019 through Law No. 1245 of October 10, 2019. In this regard and in the framework of the Global Weapons Program, UNODC in Bolivia acquired, with funds from the European Union, a micro-percussion machine for the marking of firearms, in order to comply with the measures established by Law No. 400 on Control of Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives and Other Related Materials.

The event took place at the Ministry of Defense and was attended by the Vice Minister of Defense and Cooperation for Integral Development, Adm. José Manuel Puente Guarachi, the Ambassador of the European Union, Michael Dóczy, the UNODC Representative in Bolivia, Thierry Rostan, and virtually from Vienna, Austria, the Head of the UNODC Global Programme on Firearms, Ms.Simonetta Grassi and the Regional Coordinator of the Global Programme, Ms. Lucía Gómez Consoli.

The Vice Minister of Defense and Cooperation for Integral Development highlighted the importance of fighting the problem of arms trafficking. "It is essential to join efforts to fight against this crime that threatens the peace and security of our country. As mentioned in the presentation of the marking machine, criminals do not rest, and we must be alert, vigilant and 

prepared with technology and training for our staff to deal with this crime that crosses borders. Also, the Ambassador of the European Union expressed his satisfaction with the work of the Plurinational State of Bolivia in the fight against organized crime and pledged his continued support in this process. He also remarked that we must not give truce to the efforts of people who try to break the law.
The UNODC representative, Thierry Rostan, pointed out that the Firearms Protocol establishes a comprehensive framework for States Parties to control and regulate the circulation of licit weapons and prevent their detour to the illegal trade. He also thanked the European Union for its valuable contribution and the Plurinational State of Bolivia for its commitment and collaboration with peace and security, to make Bolivia a safer place. Simonetta Grassi, Head of UNODC's Global Arms Program, said that Bolivia is an example for the region due not only to the results seen today, but also because it has generated legislation that allows the criminal punishment of those who traffic in arms. UNODC's technical support to the Bolivian government has become a long-term relationship, in which the commitment to achieve a safer and fairer society is the common goal.

The United Nations Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts, Components and Ammunition (Firearms Protocol) is a legally binding international instrument that complements the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and aims to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, especially when committed by transnational criminal organizations.

Text written by UNODC Bolivia - original can be found here.