Arms control - a regional commitment in South East Europe at the 8th Regional Meeting of SALW Commissions

Over 30 representatives from relevant institutions in South East Europe discussed the latest arm control-related challenges and committed to working together to address them at the recent SALW Commissions meeting, which took place from 20-21 November 2017 in Skopje.

The SALW Commissions meetings are one of SEESAC`s trademark regional cooperation actions. With eight meetings taking place since 2014, the meetings gather firearms experts and decision-makers from nine locations in South East Europe to exchange common challenges and identify common solutions that can put an end to the illicit possession, trafficking and misuse of arms.

Key statements from high-level officials present at the meeting:

  • Ms. Magdalena Nestorovska, State Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Skopje: "The fight against any type of crime is a priority for all of us. We are committed to working with partners in the region to overcome the challenges posed by small arms and light weapons".
  • Mr. Tibor Varadi, Political Advisor, European Union Delegation, Skopje: "The European Union is committed to working together with partners in the region to fight the illicit trafficking of weapons".
  • Mr. Zoran Popov, Political Advisor, Regional Cooperation Council: "SALW Commissions Meetings show intensified cooperation and continuous confidence-building among institutions and experts, at regional and national level".

During the two-day meeting, the participants shared updates on the latest national arms legislation, stockpile safety and security, destruction, record-keeping, countering of illicit trafficking and arms exports control. Also, two of the key future developments for SEESAC and partners in the region were discussed: the establishment of Firearms Focal Points - investigation hubs for all firearms related information - across the region, and the progress on the SALW survey - a regional initiative that gathers all essential information regarding firearms on a gender and age disaggregated basis for evidence-based policy-making.

Regional cooperation, knowledge exchange and information-sharing are the foundations of SEESAC’s approach to SALW control. The regional meetings of SALW Commissions are organized as part of the EU Support of SEESAC Disarmament and Arms Control Activities in South East Europe implemented through the Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/2356.