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Friday, 28. March 2014. 20:58

Two-day seminar of the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons for the countries of the Western Balkans held

Members of the Security and Defence Committee Mr Borislav Banović and Mr Luiđ Škrelja participated in the seminar

On day one of the seminar, held in Belgrade on 27 and 28 March, the keynote speakers were representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia and the representatives of the Parliamentary forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). Following the introduction, the participants shared opinions on the role of the parliaments in oversight of exporting weapons and best practices and programmes of destruction and disposal of small arms, light weapons and ammunition. During these presentations, Montenegro and Albania shared their experiences.

On day two, topics for discussion included new opportunities in resolving the issue of surplus ammunition in the Western Balkans countries and promotion of policy of combating illegal trade in small arms and light weapons.

During the discussion, member of the Security and Defence Committee Mr Borislav Banović pointed out that Montenegro had formed a coordination body for planning, coordination, implementation and oversight of activities in this field, aimed at effective implementation of the Strategy for Control and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons and Ammunition. Furthermore, Mr Banović pointed out that one of the important segments adopted in the Strategy was related to raising awareness, or informing the public on harmful consequences of illegal procurement, holding and carrying weapons, emphasising that, in addition to getting familiar with the norms, prevention and education of citizens was very important.

In continuation of the seminar, there were presentations from the campaign for collection of small arms and light weapons and the participants shared experiences on how the parliamentarians could contribute to its success.

In addition to the members of the parliaments of the Western Balkans countries, other participants included representatives of international organisations and NGOs dealing with this issue. The gathering was organised with the support of the Parliamentary Forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons from Sweden, UNDP/SEESAC and National Assembly of Serbia.