Western Balkans Parliamentary Handbook
June 4, 2008
One of the biggest threats to human security around the world is the continuing proliferation of illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). They fuel conflicts, hamper peace processes, undermine socio-economic development and hinder postconflict reconstruction. In December 2005 the European Council adopted a Strategy on SALW and their ammunition. This new European political approach has a global geographic scope and gives added impetus to the Union’s existing small arms policies. The European Commission is fully committed to implementing the Strategy, and, provides technical and financial support to those countries, organisations and NGOs who are engaged in fighting the spread and misuse of SALW. We believe regional approaches are particularly important and so we are supporting the joint UNDP - Stability Pact initiative SEESAC (South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for SALW Control). The countries of the Western Balkans have made impressive progress in eliminating and controlling SALW and it is vital that they keep up the political momentum. Compliance with European small arms policies will be a prerequisite for future accession to the European Union. The European Commission is ready to engage with parliaments and parliamentarians across the region to jointly address these challenges, and to ensure that we put small arms beyond harmful use.