Sarajevo/Buenos Aires, March 11 – Experts from Argentina and Bosnia and Herzegovina have joined forces to discuss the challenges, prospects and lessons learnt of their respective disarmament programmes. On March 6-7, representatives of government, police agencies, and civil society were brought together by the World Future Council and UNDP Bosnia and Herzegovina to exchange experiences in addressing small arms issues.
After sharing lessons learnt during a conference in Sarajevo, participants were able to witness the melting of collected weapons in Banja Luka, which are then recycled to manufacture spare parts for windmills and other infrastructure.
Argentina’s ‘National Programme for the Voluntary Surrender of Firearms’ was recognised with a Silver Future Policy Award by the World Future Council in 2013. “Under the programme, we have successfully collaborated with civil society in collecting over 160,000 firearms while promoting a culture more focused on non-violence and peaceful conflict resolution.“ said Matías Molle, Director of National Arms Registry (RENAR) in Argentina.
Rob van Riet, Coordinator of the Disarmament Programme at the WFC, said: “The production, trafficking and abuse of small arms heightens tensions, undermines peace processes, fuels armed violence and prevents the achievement of sustainable development and human security. The type of in-depth dialogue this Arms Control Exchange offers is of critical importance in proliferating good practice.”
Small arms are also problematic in BiH, where an estimated 750,000 illicit arms are in circulation. Since 2013 the ‘Choose Life Without Weapons’ campaign, launched by UNDP in partnership with local police agencies, has collected and destroyed over 11,000 weapons.
“This event reminds us that although the origin of violence and conflict may be unique to each country small arms proliferation is a global concern that requires cooperation and can be assisted by sharing knowledge across national boundaries.” said Jasmin Porobic, UNDP’s Programme Manager.
World Future Council
Rob van Riet
Coordinator – Peace and Disarmament
+44 (0) 207 321 3813
World Future Council