Harm no more: Bosnia and Herzegovina melts over 2,400 weapons and components
1 December 2018, Jelšingrad, Banja Luka
On Saturday, 1 December 2018, 10 police agencies together with the SALW Coordination Board destroyed over 2,400 small arms and light weapons (SALW) and components in the Jelšingrad industrial smelting facility in Banja Luka proving the country’s commitment to international arms control frameworks and the safety of its citizens.
The event was funded by the European Union (EU) and supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, SEESAC, police agencies in cooperation with SALW Coordination Board Bosnia and Herzegovina. The SALW was collected by the police agencies through a range of law enforcement activities and some of the weapons were voluntarily surrendered by the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The objective of the event was to increase public safety and security, as well as to diminish the risk of SALW proliferation by significantly reducing the number of weapons in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The event was inaugurated by Ermin Pešto, Chairperson of SALW Coordination Board in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Richard Wood, Head of the Rule of Law Section at the Office of the EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slobodan Tadić, UNDP in Bosnia and Herzegovina Justice and Security Sector Leader.
Ermin Pešto, Chairperson of SALW Coordination Board in BiH
- “Today’s event wraps up a very important year for arms control in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkans at large. We started off in February with the development of the regional roadmap for combatting arms trafficking and we are ending the year with this destruction event, proving that our country is ready to fulfill its citizens’ aspirations.”
Richard Wood, Head of the Rule of Law Section at the Office of the EU Special Representative in BiH
- "The EU now has a new SALW Control strategy and the regional Roadmap for combatting arms trafficking in this region has been approved by all EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs. We are committed to support events like this destruction and enable the region become an exporter of security.”
Slobodan Tadić, United Nations Development Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Justice and Security Sector Leader
- “All weapons destruction events should serve as a reminder to citizens about the dangers of firearms misuse. But it is especially at the end of the year that we encourage all of you to be responsible and refrain from celebratory shootings which could cause harm to you, your friends and families and damage the environment”.
With weapons and ammunition systematically destroyed, Bosnia and Herzegovina is highlighting once more its commitment to combating arms trafficking, for the safety and security of its citizens and the entire region.
In South East Europe, trafficking of SALW and their ammunition still poses a threat to the security and stability of the region. Since 2002, SEESAC assisted the authorities in the region of South East Europe to destroy over 320,000 pieces of SALW under the framework of the EU COUNCIL DECISION (CFSP) 2016/2356. SEESAC is a joint initiative of UNDP and the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).