On 12-13 December 2017, UNODC's Global Firearms Programme (GFP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and the South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) organized in Belgrade, Serbia, a regional meeting for criminal justice practitioners from the Western Balkan countries on exchange of good practices and experiences in combatting illicit firearms trafficking. Germany provided financial support for the organization of the regional event.
During the two-day meeting prosecutors and border police officers from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia presented cases on trafficking in firearms from their practice. They exchanged information on trafficking routes, profiles of traffickers, methods of concealment, evidence gathering, law enforcement and judicial co-operation. UNODC GFP presented an initiative on developing a Digest of Illicit Firearms Cases, with the objective to compile and analyse practical experiences, including concrete legal techniques, common protocols and operational norms, new and emerging forms of criminality.
The regional meeting is part of the UNODC's efforts to foster the exchanges of good practices and experiences and to develop a "Community of Practitioners" (CoP) in accordance with the recommendations of the Working Group meeting. The CoP is a space for building knowledge, innovation and efficiency by bringing together professionals who share a common work activity with a view to deepening their knowledge and expertise by interacting on an ongoing basis. Peer-to-peer learning lies at the core of this knowledge management tool, which helps practitioners explore and identify joint solutions to common problems, facilitates the exchange of information on news, events and/or topics of shared interest, promotes professional development and generates useful knowledge and skills that individual members can apply in their daily work.