Third Formal Regional Meeting of SALW Commissions Held in Pristina
As the executive arm of the Regional Implementation Plan on Combating the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), UNDP’s SEESAC initiative seeks to support information sharing and knowledge transfer among national level SALW policy advisory entities, the SALW Commissions. These Commissions have been networked through a regional level process, the Formal Regional Meetings, which provide with a unique opportunity for the exchange of information and sharing of best practices. The 3rd such meeting took place on 28-29 October 2014, in Pristina, and was attended by representatives of: Albania, Kosovo*, Moldova, Montenegro, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The meeting was observed by representatives of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), and the OSCE and befitted from the expertise of the Small Arms Survey, and UNIDIR.
The 3rd Regional Meeting focused on furthering regional cooperation and information exchange; common challenges identified by the SALW commissions and ways to overcome them; the availability of data on SALW; and last, but not least, a presentation of the International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) and its Assessment Tool. The meeting was opened by H.E. Mr. Bajram Rexhepi, Minister of Interior of Kosovo*, Mr. Gazmend Turdiu, Deputy Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council, Mr. Thomas Gnocchi, Head of Political, Economic and EU Integration section, EU Office in Kosovo*, and Mr. Andrew Russell, UN Development Coordinator in Kosovo*. All speakers agreed on the importance of a regional forum for information-sharing and commended SEESAC for its continuous efforts to support authorities in combating the threat posed by the uncontrolled proliferation of SALW.
The Regional SALW Commissions Meetings are an activity implemented under the EU Support of SEESAC Disarmament and Arms Control Activities in South East Europe (EUSAC) project, initiated through the EU Council Decision 2013/730/CFSP.
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 EU 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).