On 29 and 30 October 2019, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), through its Global Firearms Programme, together with the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, organized a workshop on recording firearms relevant information.
The workshop was carried out in the framework of UNODC's Monitoring Illicit Arms Flows Initiative, which aims at supporting data collection and analysis on firearms trafficking at national, regional and global levels with a view to monitoring and mapping illicit firearms trafficking flows, fostering effective international cooperation in tracing and information sharing, and combatting illicit trafficking and related crimes.
The overall objective of the workshop was to support the Working Group on Weapons, which was recently formed within the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Srpska, in improving firearms data collection and recording practices and tools. The workshop further aimed at explaining the Illicit Arms Flows Questionnaire (IAFQ) with a view to facilitating reporting by the Republic of Srpska under this global data collection exercise.
The main sessions covered the topics of defining the scope and time of data to be collected, identifying ways to develop a database on seized firearms, components and ammunition, and sharing data with UNODC via the IAFQ. These sessions were supported by expert presentations, presentations of available tools, a practical exercise and group discussions.
The workshop allowed the Working Group to identify important points for continued discussions, including how a database on seized firearms, components and ammunition should be set up; which of the structures within the Ministry should have access and author rights and responsibilities; how to align the scope of the database interface with Standard Operating Procedures that are currently being developed; and how to collect and share the data requested under the IAFQ.
The workshop benefitted from expert contributions of the Public Security Police of Portugal and was financially supported by the Republic of Srpska and the European Union in the framework of the project " Supporting Global Data Collection and Analysis on Firearms Trafficking and Fostering Cooperation and Information Sharing, in particular Among Countries along Major Trafficking Routes to/from the EU".