International Gun Destruction Day

Daniela Gašparíková, UNDP Resident Representative to Montenegro

July 11, 2019

Daniela Gašparíková, UNDP Resident Representative to Montenegro

International Gun Destruction Day 2019

Dear Mr. Čupić, Ms. Katrine-Leirtroe, distinguished representatives of media,

We gathered here today to mark the International Gun Destruction Day, which was observed on the 9th of July across the world.

This day serves as a reminder of the threat that firearms pose and we are proud to join forces with our partners to create a safer environment for all citizens.

Montenegro made it a tradition to gather here in July to melt down weapons that were confiscated or handed over by the citizens to the police. Today’s event in Montenegro is a part of the larger regional effort coordinated by UNDP SEESAC with EU support.

Today is a good moment to also highlight an important milestone recently achieved - the adoption of the Roadmap for a sustainable solution to arms control by 2024, developed by governments in the region with UNDP SEESAC’s support. Its strategic importance was recognized also by the leaders of countries in this reagion during the Western Balkans Poznan summit organised last week.

We are here to support the effort of the Ministry of the Interior, together with other partners. It’s been over three years since we jointly conducted a public awareness raising and collection campaign “Respect life, surrender weapons”. We can proudly say that this campaign gained traction and is still yielding results. The fact that every year we melt a considerable amount of weapons in this very place, I believe is a proof that citizens are increasingly aware of the risks and are gradually changing their habits.

While we focus on reducing possession, we also work on improving the overall safety of weapons stored by the law enforcement and defense sector. With EU financial support, we improved safety standars in storage site Rogami and upgraded two evidence rooms. Support is provided also in enhancing firearms related investigations, in particular through technical support, equipment and training provided to the Police in establishing the Firearms Focal Points.

We work together for safer Montenegro and a safer region. With joined forces we can sustain peace and security and help achieve SDGs – our commitment to achieve a better world by 2030.