On 6 April 2022 in Serbia, UNODC Global Firearms Programme (GFP) held a regional meeting on harmonization of the criminal legislation with the UN Firearms Protocol in the Western Balkans. The meeting gathered representatives of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Ministry of Interior and Prosecutor’s Office from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.
UNODC GFP had an opportunity to reflect on its engagement on harmonization of criminal legislation in the region. Comparative legislative analysis of the domestic criminal legislations was presented and discussed with the MoJ representatives and criminal justice practitioners.
During subsequent meeting sessions, additional relevant points were discussed. The representatives of MoJs provided an update on current status of the harmonization of criminal legislation with the UN Firearms Protocol, based on UNODC GFP recommendations. The exchange of experiences was facilitated and needs for the provision of further technical assistance by UNODC GFP were identify.
In the absence of EU acquis on criminal law, the role of the UN Firearms Protocol and UNTOC is vital for the process of harmonization of the criminal legislation and bringing the countries together in countering firearms trafficking and organized crime. The respective jurisdiction expressed commitment in this regard and discussed the need for establishing of a dedicated platform in the Western Balkans where criminal justice practitioners will gather to discuss issues related to criminal legislation and practice.
This activity is implemented with the financial support provided by Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, France, the Netherlands, and Norway through the Western Balkans SALW Control Roadmap Trust Fund and supported by the European Union.