Increasing security, reducing harm – Bosnia and Herzegovina, UNDP and the European Union bring weapons and ammunition facilities to international security standards

5 February 2019, Rakovica and 7 February 2019, Bijeljina

Two storage locations and five evidence rooms brought to international security standards in a combined action of the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities, UNDP SEESAC and the European Union.

Managing in a safe and secure manner the weapons and ammunition held by armed forces, police and security forces is crucial for providing adequate security for both civilians and security personnel. However, inadequate stockpile security is still one of the means through which weapons and ammunition are diverted to the illicit markets. Unsafe storage can result in explosions, killing and injuring people as well as damaging facilities and posing threats to the environment.

In 2018, authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in partnership with UNDP SEESAC and the European Union (EU), have been working to bring up to the international security standards two storage facilities in Bijeljina and Rakovica and five evidence rooms in Bijeljina, Istočno Sarajevo, Mostar, Orašje, and Zenica. For all these locations the security enhancement mainly focused on civil works, installation of CCTV and access control equipment. The official handover of these newly rehabilitated facilities took place on 5 and 7 February in Rakovica and Bijeljina in the presence of representatives from the Ministry of Security, i.e. SALW Coordination Board of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the European Union (EU), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Ermin Pešto, Chairperson of SALW Coordination Board in Bosnia and Herzegovina:

Contributing to an environment where our citizens and all European citizens feel secure is a top priority for us. And today’s event stands as proof of our commitment to make this priority a reality.

Richard Wood, Head of the Rule of Law Section at the Office of the EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina

EU, as a promoter of peace and security in the Western Balkans, is committed to supporting regional initiatives in their efforts to provide support to stop the harm caused by the proliferation and excessive accumulation of SALW.

Slobodan Tadić, United Nations Development Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Justice and Security Sector Leader

Developing long-lasting solutions to peace and security has been at the core of our mandate since the beginning of times and we stand ready to further support Bosnia and Herzegovina as it marks essential milestones like the one we are witnessing today towards achieving the Global Goals.

These events are part of a longstanding partnership on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) control between Bosnia and Herzegovina, UNDP SEESAC and the EU. To further prevent tragedies by keeping ammunition and weapons in safe and secure storage areas, since 2002, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, this partnership resulted in security enhance for 5 evidence-rooms and 6 storage locations and in security personnel trained in psychical security and stockpile management. UNDP SEESAC is working in South East Europe under the framework of the EU COUNCIL DECISION (CFSP) 2016/2356.