Sixth Regional SALW Commissions Meeting held in Becici, Montenegro
The Sixth Regional Meeting of Commissions for Small Arms and Light Weapons is being held on 5 – 6 December 2016 in Becici, Montenegro. Representatives from SALW Commissions and other relevant institutions from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYROM), Montenegro, Moldova, Serbia and Kosovo* are gathering for the two-day session, funded by the European Union (EU), to discuss the latest developments in SALW control polices in the region and beyond.
Director of International Relations from the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro Ms. Tanja Ostojic, and the Head of Political Department of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Ms. Stefana Greavu greeted the meeting.
“The topic of SALW control is of great significance for security of the state, region and international community”, Ms. Tanja Ostojic from the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro told the participants in her welcoming statement. “SALW Control is a complex process that requires cooperation on national, regional and international levels”, Ms. Ostojic added.
Head of the RCC’s Political Department Ms. Stefana Greavu emphasized the value of this regional process that regularly brings together representatives of SALW Commissions in the region.
“The process contributes to confidence building, transfer of expertise and enables development of common regional solutions”, Ms Greavu highlighted in her opening speech adding that the RCC firmly believes in regional approach, cooperation, and shared efforts in securing our homes and the wider region.
Each delegation is providing updates on implementation of SALW legislation control and plans in this area. Officials are discussing global trends and their impact on SALW policy making in the region, policy responses for prevention of armed violence and necessary steps for alignment of SALW control policies with EU standards and practices. In addition to this, they are discussing ways for improving data collection and analysis and enhancing monitoring and evaluation frameworks. They are also tackling questions related to illicit possession and ways to raise awareness on dangers of misuse of SALW. Participants will learn about the ongoing legalization, collection and awareness raising campaigns in Albania, Moldova and Serbia, supported by SEESAC.
SEESAC experts will be giving presentations about the latest developments in SALW control and sharing cutting-edge research to further contribute to strengthening of SALW control capacities in the region. Gender and SALW Advisor Mr. Dragan Bozanic will be presenting the findings of SEESAC’s latest study SALW & Gender in South East Europe. SALW Coordinator Mr. Slobodan Boskovic will be sharing the “Regional Threat Assessment – Analysis on Institutional Fitness to respond to firearms threat”, and also revealing the final recommendations of the “Feasibility study on the Possibilities of Linking the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Registration Systems of South East Europe”. Mr. Adrian Whiting from Arquebus Solutions will present recommendations on linking SALW Registrations Systems in South East Europe that has been commissioned by SEESAC. SEESAC’s Chief Technical Advisor Mr. Alain Lapon will present a new draft template for the Strategy on SALW Control based on ISACS. SEESAC’s consultant Professor Owen Green will explain how SALW Control has been incorporated into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals while Mr. Mirko Kukolj will discuss “3D Printing and Firearms”.
Other regional and international experts will also provide additional information and recommendations on SALW policies. Ms. Mareike Buettner, Associate Expert in Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will be presenting UNODC’s latest Firearms Study, while Ms. Snježana Bagarić from Croatia’s Ministry of Interior will speak about Croatian legislation on SALW in the EU context. In addition, Mr. Nils Duguet, Senior Researcher at the Flemish Peace Institute, will discuss “Firearms research in support of European and national policies to combat gun violence in Europe”. An update on the Arms Trade Treaty (Meeting of State Parties 2016”) will be provided by Mr. Momir Brajic from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The two-day regional meeting will be concluded with a discussion on how to move forward in data collection and analysis, how to improve monitoring and evaluation frameworks, tackle illicit possession and raise awareness on dangers of posed by misuse of firearms.
These regional 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 Council Decision 2013/730/CFSP.
The 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 the Council Decision 2010/179/CFSP. Designed in close cooperation with national authorities, the project works 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).