Authorities in Montenegro Destroy 798 Pieces of Firearms by Melting

"Montenegro is firmly committed to strengthening arms control mechanisms and raising public awareness about the dangers of weapons," said Minister of the Interior Filip Adžić during the destruction of weapons in Nikšić, organized by the Ministry of the Interior in collaboration with UNDP SEESAC, and funded by the European Union.

The Minister pointed out that the destruction of weapons is the result of continuous work and collaboration among various actors, including public institutions, civil society, and international partners. With each destroyed piece of firearms, we are one step closer to a society in which peace and security prevail, emphasized Adžić.

The Minister expressed his gratitude to the partners from UNDP SEESAC and the EU Delegation in Montenegro for their continuous support and assistance in implementing the weapon destruction activities, as well as to all the mentioned partners and the OSCE for the implementation of the SALW Control Roadmap, which provides guidelines for effective weapons control, reducing arms trafficking, and enhancing capacities in the security sector.

“Better management of small arms and light weapons saves lives. Our SEESAC’s Arm Violence Monitoring Platform data indicates that from 2020 to 2022, Montenegro had 171 firearm incidents impacting 122 men and 29 women, including cases of domestic violence. Sadly, these incidents resulted in 36 fatalities – 8 women and 28 men. These figures highlight the pressing need to address the risks associated with illegal firearms possession and misuse. Since 2017, Montenegro has successfully disposed of approximately 4,071 pieces of small arms and light weapons, along with nearly 96,000 pieces of ammunition. Looking ahead, the UNDP expresses hope that through continued cooperation between Montenegro, SEESAC, and UNDP, the number of firearms and ammunition to be disposed of next year will surpass the achievements of previous years, leading to even greater peace and security for the country and the region”, UNDP RR a.i. Ekaterina Paniklova said. She is convinced that Montenegro’s active contribution to the SEESAC program reinforces our collective commitment to creating a world free from poverty, inequality, and armed violence.

Deputy Head of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro, Siv-Katrine Leirtroe, stated that the Mission supports the "Respect Life - Return Weapons" campaign. "More than ever, we see how important it is to reduce the number of privately-owned weapons. We encourage everyone to call the police and return their weapons for their own safety and the safety of their loved ones," said Leirtroe.

Through our good cooperation, we have achieved significant progress in demilitarization and ensured security in our country, and I expect that we will continue to jointly promote a culture of non-violence in the future, concluded Adžić.

The activity is part of the implementation of the EU Council Decision 2019/2111, which supports capacity building for the control of small arms and light weapons in the region, within the framework of a project financed by the European Union.

During the destruction ceremony, 798 pieces of weapons were melted down.


Photo: 1, 2, 3, 5 - UNDP Montenegro, 4 - EU Delegation to Montenegro