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The high proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) in the Western Balkans region and persisting challenges in their effective control present risks to both regional and European security.
Recognizing the need for a more integrated and coordinated action to tackle SALW issues in the Western Balkans region, France and Germany have launched a joint donor coordination initiative on illicit firearms trafficking and comprehensive SALW control. This initiative takes a two-level approach.
A regional Roadmap with specific and measurable targets to reduce illicit small arms trafficking by 2024, has been elaborated and agreed by Western Balkans capitals. This document will form the basis for strengthening cooperation between the donor community and the Western Balkan authorities. The document will be formally endorsed by the Heads of State and Government at the Western-Balkans summit of the Berlin process to be convened on July 10 in London.
At the national level, donor coordination meetings chaired by Germany and France are organised in all six capitals of the region this year to provide joint analysis by national authorities and international partners and to identify opportunities for further collaboration and joint programming initiatives. The meetings also serve as an input to the elaboration of the national action plans to implement the regional Roadmap. The first two national donor meetings have already taken place in Podgorica on 2 February and in Belgrade on 18 April.
On 5 June 2018, the Franco-German coordination initiative will hold its national donor coordination meeting in Sarajevo. H.E. Dragan Mektić, Minister of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina will provide opening statements for the meeting. The meeting is co-hosted by Germany, represented by Marcus Bleinroth, Director of Conventional Arms Control at the German Foreign Office and France, represented by H.E. Jean-Claude Brunet, Ambassador-at-large on transnational criminal threats and the fight against the illicit trafficking of SALW at the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
In December, France will host a high level conference in Paris to take stock of the outcomes of the donor coordination meetings, to present the national action plans for the implementation of the Roadmap and to identify donor contributions to its funding.
At the end of 2019 Germany will host a monitoring conference in Berlin to monitor the first year of the Roadmap/national action plan implementation.