The South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) works to strengthen the capacities of national and regional stakeholders to control and reduce the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons, and thus contribute to enhanced stability, security and development in South Eastern and Eastern Europe. SEESAC functions under the mandate given to it by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).
The uncontrolled proliferation and illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons (SALW) is a serious problem in South Eastern and Eastern Europe; one that has fuelled crime and insecurity, exacerbating conflict in the region and undermining post conflict peace-building. Problems related to SALW are likely to pose a serious constraint on the long-term economic and social development in South Eastern and Eastern Europe.
With this in mind, on 8 May 2002 SEESAC was launched and was given a mandate by the UNDP and the Stability Pact for South East Europe (later succeeded by the Regional Cooperation Council - RCC) to function as a component of the Regional Implementation Plan on Combating Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) formulated and adopted by the Stability Pact in November 2001 and revised in 2006 and in 2014. The aim of the Plan is to stop the flow and availability of SALW in the region, consolidate current achievements and support the socio-economic conditions for peace and development in South Eastern and Eastern Europe. Although it was initially envisioned as a three-year programme, SEESAC’s impressive results and proven relevance resulted in its extension beyond 2006.
SEESAC is housed in UNDP’s Belgrade office, and receives political and strategic guidance and indigenous support from the Regional Steering Group for Small Arms and Light Weapons (RSG). The RSG is composed of representatives of the governments of the states concerned, the RCC, UNDP and observers from institutions such as the European Union (EU), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and civil society. The RSG meets annually and has approved both the 2008 SEESAC Strategy and a revision of the SEESAC mandate. According to the revised mandate, SEESAC tools are now available to stakeholders from a wider regional area, including the Central Asia and the Caucasus. Furthermore, within resource limitations, SEESAC can now provide technical advice and project development assistance for the disposal of heavy weapons.
SEESAC liaises directly with governments and civil society, providing technical input, information exchange, coordination and overview of current and future efforts and fund-raising assistance for specific SALW projects. More specifically, SEESAC's regional activities include sensitizing governments and civil society on small arms issues, formulating national strategies for SALW control and supporting the national stakeholders in executing these strategies, as well as incorporating small arms issues into UNDP development planning.
SEESAC Activity Areas
SEESAC’s activities are constantly changing to adapt to the current needs and capacities of the local governments and other stakeholders. Currently our work is focused on the following issues: