Montenegro proves its commitment to a world free of armed violence

20 July 2018, Institute - Niksic, industrial smelting facility

Montenegro joins global actions to fight armed violence by destroying 1357 small arms and light weapons to mark International Gun Destruction Day. The event was organized by the Ministry of Interior with SEESAC’s support and it was funded by the European Union. 

Initiated by the United Nations in 2001, International Gun Destruction Day serves as a reminder of the threat that excess, poorly secured, and illegal weapons pose to everyday safety and security. For this occasion, Montenegro melted 1357 small arms and light weapons (SALW), 145 components and 1 missile launcher in an event that stands proof of the country’s long-term commitment to the fight against armed violence. The destroyed weapons were either confiscated or seized by Montenegrin law enforcement agencies or voluntarily surrendered by citizens.

Key statements from the event:

Mr. Dragan Pejanovic, State Secretary, Ministry of Internal Affairs:

“We destroy firearms so that they never find their way back to criminal hands and as such we reduce crime. More melted firearms, less armed violence. And a safer Montenegro for all.”

Mr. Tomica Paovic, UNDP Team Leader Democratic Governance and Economy and Environment:

“This day serves as a reminder of the threat that firearms pose and we are delighted to support the Ministry of Interior in its choice of not standing idly but taking action to fight armed violence.”

Since 2002, SEESAC and the authorities of South East Europe destroyed over 320,000 pieces of SALW. SEESAC uses a 360-degree approach to SALW control assistance to national counterparts, from ‘hands-on’ interventions such as destruction of weapons, security upgrades of storages and marking, tracing and record-keeping of weapons to ‘soft power’ interventions such as awareness-raising campaigns and the integration of the gender perspective in security sector reform processes and evidence-based policy development. All actions are regional cooperation based. SEESAC works in South East Europe under the framework of the EU COUNCIL DECISION (CFSP) 2016/2356.