Deputy Ministers of the Interior and Foreign Affairs from the Western Balkans region expressed determination to strengthen their commitments towards Small Arms and Light Weapons Control in South East Europe, as agreed in the Joint Statement at the High Level Regional Conference – Reinforcing Commitments towards Small Arms and Light Weapons Control in South East Europe, held in Podgorica, Montenegro.
The Deputy Ministers fully committed to elaborate on a Roadmap on SALW for the Western Balkans, under the auspices of SEESAC and Germany, preparing it for adoption at the upcoming Western Balkans Summit within the Berlin Process due in London later this year. The Roadmap will define objectively verifiable measures and targets devoted to small arms and light weapons control in order to comprehensively prevent, pursue and prosecute illegal possession and misuse of guns in the region.
Goran Svilanović, the Regional Cooperation Council Secretary General commended the progress achieved in SALW over the last few years, particularly concerning adoption and implementation of national legislation, better coordinated cooperation and continuous confidence building, adding that the issue of SALW control remains one of the key challenges in security cooperation in the region.
“The previous meetings of the SALW Commissions have emphasized the need for standardization of approaches in combating illicit traffic of firearms, the systematic collection and analysis of data in support of policies. Therefore, the RCC highly appreciates and supports the idea of producing a Roadmap for the Western Balkans on SALW, under the auspices of the South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) and the Federal Republic of Germany, to be adopted at the London Summit in July, within the framework of the Berlin Process”, said Svilanović.