On 29-30 May 2018, the UNODC Global Firearms Programme (GFP) organised in Vienna, Austria, a regional meeting on " Exchange of good practices and experiences in prosecution of illicit firearms trafficking and its links to other forms of organised crime".
The workshop was attended by prosecutors from the Western Balkan countries and the European Union with experience in prosecuting cases of firearms trafficking, organized crime or terrorism. The main focus of the workshop was to identify measures on how to increase the number of prosecuted cases on firearms trafficking and thus contribute to reaching the goals, established by the Roadmap for sustainable solution to the misuse and trafficking of firearms in the Western Balkans.
The participants presented many concrete cases on trafficking in firearms and engaged in in-depth analysis of the national regulations, factual and normative context of the cases, the investigative and prosecutorial strategies applied to those cases and shared good practices and lessons learned.
The discussions highlighted the existing challenges and identified specific assistance needs. The exchange of information yielded concrete results by closing several gaps in international cooperation and by identifying experts, who can provide support to on-going anti-trafficking investigations.
The event, sponsored by the Government of Germany, was the third of a series of UNODC GFP Community of Practitioners meetings, an initiative aimed at fostering regional and interregional cooperation for effective action against illicit firearms trafficking through regular exchange of information, case-based experiences and good practices among communities of criminal justice and law enforcement practitioners. It complements and mutually supports the elaboration of a Digest of Illicit Firearms Cases, which will compile and analyse practical experiences, including concrete legal techniques, common protocols and operational norms in combatting these crimes, as well as new and emerging forms of criminality.