NewsNew Contribution from France for the Western Balkans Multi-Partner Trust Fund

West Balkans SALW France flag news Sept 2023

France reaffirms its role as a key contributor to the Western Balkans Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Control Roadmap Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) with a new contribution to this pooled fund worth 250,000 EUR.

"France remains determined to prevent, combat and eradicate the use of SALW and conventional ammunition for terrorism and transnational organized crime,” H. E. Olivier Caron, Ambassador-at-large for Counter-Terrorism and Organized Crime International Strategy, said on this occasion.

He added that France is concerned about the negative impact of the illicit trafficking in SALW, which poses serious threats to safety and security in the region and globally.

“The international community has, at various levels, demonstrated its awareness of this issue, and its willingness to fight it. It is of utmost importance that States coordinate to ensure the efficiency, sustainability and effective cooperation and assistance efforts” Ambassador Caron highlighted.

“I would like to thank the SEESAC, the UNDP and all our partners involved in the implementation of the Roadmap” the Ambassador concluded.

The Multi-Partner Trust Fund supports a donor-coordinated approach to the implementation of the Roadmap for a sustainable solution to the illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of SALW and their ammunition in the Western Balkans. It strengthens coordination, planning and communication among all partners, fosters collaboration, and reduces risks to governments and financial contributors.

Established in March 2019 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as Participating UN Organisations, the Trust Fund has benefitted from a strong cooperation with Germany and France, as the initiators of the Roadmap, that were soon joined by the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands. Due to the generosity and commitment of these donors, the Trust Fund mobilised contributions exceeding 24.4 million US dollars.

UNDP SEESAC functions as the Secretariat of the Trust Fund and is responsible for the overall coordination and monitoring of the Trust Fund, providing technical, management, planning and programming support to it. Thus far, the Trust Fund has supported 16 projects implemented by the Participating UN Organisations, UNDP and UNODC, across the Western Balkans. A new call for proposals was issued in 2023, and it is expected to bring a new set of projects across the region by the end of this year in support of the Roadmap implementation.

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