SEESAC Briefs on Progress on SALW Control and Gender Equality in Security Sector at South-Eastern Europe Defence Ministerial Deputy Chief of Defence Meeting

SEESAC took part in the South-Eastern Europe Defence Ministerial Deputy Chief of Defence (DCHOD) Meeting organised under the Sofia Chairmanship where it provided an update on progress made in advancing SALW control and promoting gender equality in the security sector since the last DCHOD meeting in June 2022.

The meeting took place in Rome on 21 June 2023 and gathered representatives of fourteen Member Nations and international/regional organizations (UNDP SEESAC, RACVIAC, and OSCE) to foster dialogue and regional cooperation and share information related to common security challenges in the region.

The DCHOD meeting in Rome reaffirmed the SEDM commitment of its members to contribute to confidence and peace and to foster good neighbourly relations through close cooperation in South East Europe.

SEESAC informed the participants about the support to stakeholders in the region to strengthen small arms and light weapons control and advance gender equality in the military.

Particular focus was on the activities organised within the regional gender in the military project, i.e., in particular, the 1st Key Leaders' Seminar which gathered decision-makers and commanders to share knowledge on practical measures for gender-responsive military leadership.

SEESAC also presented the findings of the Mid-Term Review of the Roadmap on combatting illicit trafficking, possession, and misuse of SALW and their ammunition. Completed at the beginning of this year, the mid-term review confirmed the relevance of the Western Balkans Roadmap for the regional SALW control efforts and strengthening regional cooperation in this area. The Mid-Term Review also serves as a guiding document for a better understanding of the remaining gaps under the existing Roadmap, and the way forward to ensure that the work of the authorities on SALW control responds to the changing security environment and new threats.

Reaffirming its commitment to jointly work with the SEDM Secretariat and all the forum’s participating Nations, SEESAC highlighted its readiness to continue contributing to regional security, stability, and peace, as well as to the Sustainable Development Goals.