Kosovo* Police Storage Room Upgraded, More SALW Secured
An official handover ceremony, presenting the new upgrade of the Kosovo* Police firearms and ammunition storage as well as the supporting technology, took place on 27 October 2014 in Pristina.
Conducted under the EU Support of SEESAC Disarmament and Arms Control Activities in South East Europe (EUSAC) project, supported by the EU through its Council Decision 2013/730/CFSP dated 9 December 2013, the storage upgrade was facilitated by UNDP’s SEESAC initiative and the UNDP in Kosovo*, through the Kosovo* Small Arms Control Initiative (KOSSAC).
The event was organized by the Kosovo* Police (KP), and it took place at the KP’s* Main Headquarters. Kosovo’s* Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Bajram Rexhepi, officially opened the handover ceremony, while Mr. Andrew Russell, UNDP Resident Representative in Kosovo*; Dr. Ivan Zverzhanovski, SEESAC Coordinator; and Mr. Naim Rexha, Deputy Director of the Kosovo* Police also addressed the media.
Mr. Bajram Rexhepi expressed his gratitude to UNDP for their assistance, and stressed that the Kosovo* Police is working hard to control the misuse of small arms and light weapons (SALW). Further, he affirmed the KP’s* dedication to destroying weapons in illegal possession.
Mr. Andrew Russell said that the storage upgrade represents a major achievement of the KOSSAC* project, while underlining the fact that the activities related to the upgrades constitute direct implementations of the Council of the European Union Decision 2013/730/CFSP, aimed at combating the illicit accumulation and trafficking of SALW and their ammunition in South East Europe.
The security upgrade of the Kosovo* Ministry of Interior SALW and ammunition storage facility leads to more effective and efficient management of stockpiles – both of which are indispensable elements of a holistic approach to SALW control. Effective management reduces the risk of loss of weapons, and consequently the illicit proliferation of SALW. Finally, improved stockpile management can also contribute to a more efficient identification of surplus weapons and ammunition, and it can help define future procurement requirements.
EUSAC builds directly upon SEESAC’s decade-long SALW Control work, particularly achievements made through the previous EU-funded SALW Control project, conducted during the 2010-2012 period under the Council Decision 2010/179/CFSP. The new project, which was designed in close cooperation with national authorities, will work on the following five interrelated streams of activities:
- Increased security of stockpiles: through the renovation and security improvements to storages of arms and ammunition.
- Stockpile reduction: through the destruction of surplus arms and ammunition held in storages.
- Improved marking, tracing and registration of SALW: through the provision of support to the establishment or enhancement of existing weapons registration and record-keeping systems.
- Improved regional cooperation on awareness raising, information sharing and knowledge transfer: through the facilitation of regional cooperation between national institutions tasked with arms control.
- Implementation of collection and awareness raising campaigns
*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).