A plan for a safer future

 

Roadmap vision: Western Balkans is a safer region, and exporter of security, where comprehensive and sustainable mechanisms, fully harmonized with the European Union and other international standards, are in place to identify, prevent, prosecute, and control the illegal possession, misuses and trafficking of firearms, ammunition and explosives.

The Roadmap for a sustainable solution to arms control in the Western Balkans by 2024 envisages the Western Balkans as a safer region and an exporter of security where comprehensive and sustainable mechanisms, fully harmonized with the European Union (EU) and other international standards, are in place to identify, prevent, prosecute, and control the illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of firearms, ammunition and explosives. It is based on regional cooperation principals and it draws upon SEESAC’s signature solution to arms control resulted from over a decade of work on all arms control-related aspects with governments in the region and in partnership with the EU.

The Roadmap was developed by the Western Balkans authorities with SEESAC’s technical support under the auspices of France and Germany and in consultation with the EU and all other relevant actors. The adoption of the document is the result of a record-breaking 5 months consultations process, started in Podgorica on 1 February 2018 at the high-level meeting, followed by discussions at the local level in all jurisdictions across the region, agreed in Tirana at the 9th Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Commissions Meeting and adopted at the London Summit held on 10 July 2018. Mainstreaming of gender into SALW control is an integral part of the Roadmap in order to ensure that SALW control interventions take into account the impact of firearms and needs of both men and women. 

To fulfil the ambitious mission envisaged by its vision, the Roadmap includes seven goals including ensuring that arms control legislation is in place, fully harmonized with the EU regulatory framework and other related international obligations and standardized across the region by 2023. By 2024, the arms control policies and practices in the Western Balkans should be evidence-based and intelligence-led, the illicit flows of firearms, ammunition and explosives into, within and beyond the Western Balkans should be significantly reduced, the supply-demand and misuses of firearms should also be reduced through increased awareness, education, outreach and advocacy and the estimated number of firearms in illicit possession should substantially decrease in the Western Balkans. Additionally, part of the Roadmap goals, the Western Balkans should systematically decrease the surplus and destroy seized SALW and ammunition and should significantly decrease the risk of proliferation and diversion of firearms, ammunition and explosives.

The implementation of the Roadmap goals will contribute to compliance by the Western Balkans with related international treaties and agreements including the United Nations (UN) Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in SALW in All Its Aspects, the Firearms Protocol,  Arms Trade Treaty, as well as the EU Strategy Against Illicit Firearms, Small Arms & Light Weapons & Their Ammunition. It will also contribute to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peaceful and just societies in particular targets 16.1 (significantly reduce all forms of violence and death rate everywhere) and 16.4 (significantly reduce illicit arms flows) and Goal 5 on gender equality.

Full Roadmap text can be read here in: Albanian, BCMS, English, Macedonian.

 

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).