Common Challenges and Solutions Are Being Discussed at 15th Regional Meeting of Small Arms and Light Weapons Commissions

Over 35 representatives of the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Commissions, from the Western Balkans, Moldova, and Ukraine, and representatives of expert organisations engaged in arms control gathered for the 15th Regional Meeting of SALW Commissions. The meeting took place in a hybrid setup in Skopje and online on 7 July 2022.

By welcoming the participants and pointing out the importance of regional cooperation and coordination in fighting the illicit possession, trafficking and misuse of firearms, Mr. Arif Asani, Deputy Director of the Bureau for Public Security and President of SALW Commission from Skopje, and Mr. Amer Kapetanović, Head of Political Department of the Regional Cooperation Council, opened the meeting.

The meeting enabled sharing of good practices and experiences, informing on new global initiatives on arms and ammunition control, provided updates on new threats related to firearms and ammunition control, as well as underlined the importance of keeping the authorities up to date with the latest global developments and policies on arms control.

In particular, the participants from Belgrade, Chisinau, Kiev, Podgorica, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje, and Tirana were presented with the work and objectives of the newly established Open-ended Working Group on Conventional Ammunition. Furthermore, they discussed topics of the conventional ammunition management, preventing post-delivery diversion of weapons and ammunition, as well as the use of evidence-based policies related to arms control to ensure these are gender mainstreamed and effectively addressing the firearms related threats.

The SALW Commissions Meetings are organized with the support provided through the EU Council Decision 2019/2111 in support of arms control activities in South East Europe in the framework of the EU Strategy to combat the illicit accumulation and trafficking of SALW and their ammunition.