Over 20 millions citizens in South East Europe are now living in a safer region as a result of a EU-UNDP partnership which has been building confidence in the region for the last 15 years.
The EU and UNDP marked the results of a 15-year-long partnership on arms control, developed and piloted by SEESAC, a joint initiative of UNDP and the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), operating on-the-ground in South East Europe.
SEESAC’s signature solution draws upon multi-stakeholder partnerships, groundbreaking research and innovative solutions to prevent illicit trafficking and misuse of small arms and light weapons (SALW) and their ammunition, to change attitudes about firearms, to strive for gender equality in order to build more peaceful societies.
“Regional processes, not only advance small arms and light weapons control measures, but also help build trust and confidence in the region,” Pawel Herczynski, Director for the Security Policy and Conflict Prevention in the European External Action Service said.
The EU - UNDP partnership on disarmament and arms control in South East Europe resulted in over 320.000 weapons destroyed, 100 knowledge products published on all SALW related aspects, 6 million citizens informed about the dangers of firearms misuse or 13 storaged with significantly enhanced security. Overall, it created a safer region for over 20 million citizens.
“We achieve more when we work together – that’s our key take-away from the 15-year-long partnership,” Deputy Minister of Interior from Albania Rovena Voda said in her opening remarks. “All progress achieved by this region when it comes to arms control has regional cooperation at its core.”
“Global frameworks like the Sustainable Development Goals, and common goals like EU integration, are designed to catalyse the progress achieved by this region on arms control. We stand ready, as always, to support governments better serve citizens in the region and beyond,” Gerd Trogemann, Manager of the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub concluded.
The EU – UNDP partnership through SEESAC is the longest-standing cooperation on development in Eurasia.
You can find more about the signature solution to arms control here.