Progress made in South East and East Europe highlighted during the Seventh Biannual Meeting of States

From 26 to 30 July 2021, member states, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and experts around the globe gathered during the 7th Biannual Meeting of States to consider the national, regional and global implementation of the Programme of Action (PoA) to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects and its International Tracing Instrument (ITI).

Regional efforts in the Western Balkans, in particular Western Balkans SALW Control Roadmap have been highlighted in the statement delivered on behalf of the UN by the UN Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA)

“Along with national ownership, regional cooperation and coordination has been instrumental in scaling up the fight to arms trafficking, misuse, and their illicit possession. The Western Balkans Roadmap with its seven goals and 14 Key Performance Indicators has been an example of an integrated response supported by a comprehensive coordination and monitoring mechanism, already used as a best practice for a similar approach in the European Union, the Caribbean and West Africa.”

In this context also the importance of the Western Balkans SALW Control Roadmap Multi-Partner Trust Fund has been highlighted. The Trust Fund was established as a key funding mechanism for the implementation of the Roadmap, and has accumulated US$ 17 million since its establishment in 2019, with 10 projects currently under implementation.

Regional approaches to SALW control were also in the focus of a virtual side event “From the Western Balkans to the Caribbean – Regional Approaches to Arms Control”, jointly organized by UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) and SEESAC, on 27 July 2021. Representatives from the Western Balkans and the Caribbean, implementing partners and donor community spoke about the progress and lessons learnt from the implementation of the Western Balkans SALW Control Roadmap and the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap

Lessons learnt from the region were also shared during a virtual side event “Report launch: Women Managing Weapons”, organized by UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) on 27 July 2021. SEESAC shared its insights on how to advance gender equality in the security sector and what gender mainstreaming means for arms control. 

To read SEESAC’s report on actions taken at the regional level that support the implementation of the Programme of Action in 2018 and 2019, please click here

Revised BMS7 outcome document is available here.