The uncontrolled proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) still continues to pose serious constraints on the development of South Eastern Europe. In order to address the problems of SALW, the last few years have seen the development of regional and international initiatives, such as the OSCE Small Arms Document, UN Programme of Action, and a particularly relevant and region-specific SALW initiative - Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe’s Regional Implementation Plan (RIP) Combating the Proliferation of SALW. Recognising and building on previous commitments in a wide range of areas, the RIP was agreed in November 2001 by Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, FYR Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, and Serbia and Montenegro. The aim of the SEE SALW Monitor is to provide an overview of how SEE countries have progressed towards fulfilling their commitments. The Stability Pact’s RIP, as the most inclusive and regionally relevant document representing governments’ commitments in the area of SALW control is used as a benchmark for this process. This report does not represent a technical verification system or a formal inspection report – its role is to collect and present relevant information to facilitate monitoring, discussion and assessment of progress towards the implementation of the RIP. Funded by SEESAC, the research and writing of the report was undertaken by Saferworld, an independent NGO based in London. The contents therefore reflect an independent and objective presentation of factual information on SEE countries’ responses to SALW problems within the RIP Framework based on available evidence; there has been no SEESAC influence in the research direction, formulation or contents of this report. Research for the report was conducted by Saferworld from December 2003 to February 2004; through their National SALW Focal Points, Governments in the region were given an opportunity to comment on the final draft of the report and thanks go to those who gave feedback and provided additional information. The SEE Monitor can be downloaded, in PDF Format, from the SEESAC website.
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