Presentation of the Regional and National Reports on Arms Exports in South Eastern Europe

On 10 November, SEESAC organized a public presentation of the third Regional Report on Arms Exports for 2009 and annual national reports on arms exports produced by the Republic of Albania, Republic of Croatia, Montenegro and the Republic of Serbia.  The production of these reports is one of the concrete results of a regional SEESAC project on Arms Export Control generously supported by Norway.

On this occasion, guests from the diplomatic community and members of the media were first addressed by H.E. Mr. Kamsvag - Ambassador of Norway, Efrem Radev - Senior Expert on Security Issues at the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and William Infante - UN Resident Coordinator. 

Ambassador Kamsvag underlined that “While the national reports on arms exports represent evidence of commitment to transparency with regard to arms transfers in different participating countries, the regional report is a unique effort that can only be compared to the report produced by the EU.” Ambassador Kamsvag also pointed out that the exchange of information which is an integral part of SEESAC’s project on Arms Export Control, should not be seen as a goal in and of itself, but as a means to build confidence and enhance the cooperation between the states in the region with regards to arms exports. Such confidence building measures themselves contribute to peace and stability in the region.

Efrem Radev noted that the regional report is strong evidence of the existing administrative capacity and the desire to further comply with the EU policies in the field of export control. Mr. Radev expressed the RCC’s intention to continue to provide support to this initiative, successful implemented by SEESAC .

William Infante reminded the audience that the regional report, created jointly by Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, presents the first instance of the EU model of regional reporting being used by non-EU member states.  Mr. Infante also pointed out the benefits of this process to the further democratization of the region.  “National reports on export control serve as effective tools to allow the parliaments and civil society to assess the extent to which governments are upholding commitments made in their arms export policies.  It is a practice that directly supports transparent and democratic governance,” said Mr. Infante. 

Next, Mr. Diman Dimov, Team Leader of SEESAC presented the Regional Report on Arms Exports in 2009. Mr. Dimov noted that the production of the report has been a process and that with every new addition the report offers more detailed data and is closer to the EU annual report. The 3rd edition of the regional report provides information about the actual value of the arms exports together with information about the value of the issued licences and it contains a breakdown of the exports from the region in several categories: exports per destination; exports per region, and exports worldwide.

The annual Report on Arms Export for 2010 of the Republic of Albania was then presented by Mr. Elton Hodaj, followed by the the presentation of the annual Report for 2010 of the Republic of Croatia by Snjezana Ivancic, presentation of the annual Report for 2009 of Montenegro by Kadrija Kurpejovic, and the presentation of the annual Report for 2009 of the Republic of Serbia by Jasmina Roskic.

The presentations were followed by a meeting of the Regional Information Exchange Process.