Strengthening the capacities of Border Police Services across the Western Balkans to counter illicit arms trafficking

On 1st December SEESAC organized the meeting of border police representatives in the Western Balkans with the aim to agree on the comprehensive approach to strengthening capacities of border police services to counter illicit arms trafficking, to be implemented in the next three years with the support of the European Union.  The main findings and recommendations from the Needs assessment conducted last year by SEESAC experts in Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo*, North Macedonia and Albania were presented. The reports were endorsed by delegations who also provided their comments, and discussed the challenges and the way forward.

The meeting also provided an opportunity for the delegations to learn more about countering illicit arms trafficking at green borders through presentation on specific case studies by a border control expert from Republic of Croatia. Additionally, they were informed by FRONTEX official about the development of the draft Handbook for detection of firearms for border guards and customs officers and the possibilities of  FRONTEX’s outreach to the Western Balkans. Representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina Border Police shared their experiences and best practices  from the implementation of  the Countering Illicit Arms Trafficking supported by  UNDP  Office in BiH.

The meeting was organized under EU Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1788 of 19 November 2018 in support of the SEESAC for the implementation of the Regional Roadmap on  combating illicit arms trafficking in the Western Balkans and aims to strengthen cooperation and information sharing among border police services and further develop their capacities to counter illicit arms trafficking.

*All references to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of UNSC Resolution 1244 (1999)