21-23 October 2020, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: The UNODC Global Firearms Programme (GFP) met with the national authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the Chief Prosecutor, the President of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council and the Director of the Judicial and Prosecutorial Training Center to discuss the implementation in the country of the UNODC regional project on Criminal Justice Response against Arms Trafficking. The scope of the discussions included the applicable legal framework to arms trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the identification of trainings and capacity building needs for judges and prosecutors. Through this project, UNODC GFP aims at tackling the immediate needs of the national authorities, building on past and ongoing efforts and initiatives carried out in the Western Balkan region in countering illicit firearms trafficking and organized crime.
During the discussions, the counterparts welcomed the support of UNODC GFP in Bosnia and Herzegovina while agreeing on future cooperation focusing on training and capacity building.Strengthening the capacity of national authorities in the Western Balkans to detect, investigate and prosecute firearms trafficking and its links to other serious crimes is recognized to be very important as it contributes to the reinforcement of the rule of law. The importance of harmonization of national legislation with the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crimes and its Protocols has been emphasized as it is an essential pre-requisite for effective and sustainable efforts to effectively control firearms and prevent the diversion and trafficking.
Currently, the UNODC GFP is implementing two projects in South Eastern Europe:
HALT – aimed at enhancing the capacities of the Indirect Taxation Authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina to better combat illicit arms trafficking through development of standard operating procedures, provision of training, and procurement of specialized equipment for the detection of smuggled firearms.
A regional project on Criminal Justice Response against Arms Trafficking, aimed at supporting the six Western Balkan jurisdictions in strengthening their criminal justice response to firearms related criminality, particularly illicit arms trafficking.
The financial support for these projects is provided under the Western Balkans SALW Control Roadmap Multi-Partner Trust Fund by Germany, UK, Netherlands, France, Sweden and Norway.