UNDP SEESAC reaffirms its commitment to contributing to regional cooperation within South-East Europe Defence Ministerial (SEDM) forum

UNDP SEESAC participated in the 45th South-East Europe Defence Ministerial Coordination Committee Meeting (SEDM - CC) held via teleconference on 16 September 2021, under the Chairmanship of the Ministry of Defence of Bulgaria.

The 45th South-East Europe Defence Ministerial Coordination Committee Meeting (SEDM - CC)  was organized with the aim to gather the representatives from the Member Nations and international/regional organizations  (NATO, RCC, RACVIAC, UNDP SEESAC) to exchange information related to common security challenges in the region to encourage  political-military collaboration in South Eastern Europe (SEE) to further strengthen security and stability in the region and thus contribute to the world's peace and prosperity.

UNDP SEESAC provided update on the activities conducted since the last SEDM-CC meeting in supporting the counterparts in South-East Europe to  strengthen small arms and light weapons control and to advance gender equality in the military, in particular on implementation of the projects devoted to disarmament and arms control in South-East Europe; increase Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) of small arms and light weapons and ammunition, mainly focusing on law enforcement; security upgrades for SALW safekeeping/evidence rooms of police services weapons storage location; organization of the workshops on stockpile management, and disposal of weapons and ammunition at risk of proliferation; implementation of the Regional Roadmap on combatting illicit trafficking, possession and misuse of SALW and their ammunition; as well as the project Strengthening of Regional Cooperation in Mainstreaming Gender in Security Sector Reform in the Western Balkans.

SEDM CC and PMSC Chair, Mr. Plamen Yordanov, Deputy Minister of Defence of Bulgaria, emphasized the significance of the UNDP SEESAC’s assistance in the region, in contributing security, stability and cooperation in SEE countries.

UNDP SEESAC also used the opportunity to reaffirms its commitment to work jointly with the SEDM Secretariat and all participating Nations in the forum in contributing to regional security, stability and peace, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals. Furthermore, UNDP SEESAC conveyed its greatest admiration to the Member Nations for the excellent cooperation in increasing small arms and light weapons control and strengthening the gender perspective in the security sector.

In addition to exchange of information on the activities conducted in the recent period, the participants also discussed the effects of Covid-19 pandemic to the implementation of the SEDM - CC actions, as well as agreed the agenda and venue of the Ministerial meeting, which will take place on 3-5 November 2021 in Skopje, North Macedonia.