From 17 to 18 July 2018, UNODC through its Global Firearms Programme and its Research and Trend Analysis Branch, organized its fourth regional meeting on firearms data collection and analysis in the framework of the EU funded project on "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".
The meeting aimed at facilitating and promoting participation in the global firearms data initiative through the Illicit Arms Flows Questionnaire (IAFQ), identifying firearms data collection practices and challenges of target countries, and fostering the exchange of information and operational use of firearms data.
The meeting brought together 18 experts and National Focal Points for the Illicit Arms Flows Questionnaire from 11 countries, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine, and was supported by experts from Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, UNODC, the South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) and the European Union.
Opening the regional meeting, Ms. Simonetta Grassi, Head of the Global Firearms Programme, stressed the importance of firearms data collection at national and global levels for evidence-based decision making at policy and operational levels and explained that the mandate for UNODC's firearms data collection exercise is derived from resolution 8/3 of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and also linked to UNODC's role as co-custodian for indicator 16.4.2 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Meeting participants enhanced their understanding on the IAFQ - UNODC's data collection methodology to identify firearms trafficking trends and patterns and to report on indicator 16.4.2 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, through presentations, engaged discussions and practical exercises. The national representatives and experts also shared their national experiences in the collection and analysis of firearms related data and provided updates on their progress of filling in the IAFQ. A focus was also set on presenting best practices and the benefits of strategic and comprehensive firearms data collection for evidence-based policy making and operational decision making.
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