Over 100 representatives from the Ukrainian state authorities, think tanks, the donor community and international partner organizations met today to create a coordination platform on implementing a joint strategic approach to preventing and combating the illicit trafficking in weapons, ammunition and explosives (WAE) in Ukraine.
This initiative, supported by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, takes place as part of the First National Conference on Preventing and Combating Illicit Trafficking in Weapons, Ammunition and Explosives in all its aspects, which took place in Kyiv on February 15 and 16.
“Today, Ukraine more than ever needs to strengthen its response to the illicit trafficking of WAE based on a strategic governmental approach. The adoption of the Law on Weapons, the launch of the weapons register, coordination and cooperation of all stakeholders, as well as the mobilization of advanced international knowledge are the priorities in combating and preventing the illicit trafficking in WAE,” said Serhii Honcharov, the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs in his opening speech.
Henrik Villadsen, the OSCE Project Co-coordinator in Ukraine, reiterated the OSCE’s continued support to Ukraine in the field of Small arms and light weapons (SALW) control, as well as in preventing and combating the illicit trafficking in WAE.
“By establishing a platform for enhanced international and interagency coordination, we are aiming to support the Ukrainian government and its agencies by bringing them together with international partners on a regular basis to discuss best practices and elaborate a joint strategic approach to addressing the issue of illicit trafficking in WAE,” he stated.
Discussions focused, additionally, on Ukraine’s WAE legal and regulatory framework, its compliance with international commitments and identifying the country’s needs to better counter illicit trafficking in WAE in line with international best practices. Further steps on fostering cooperation among national stakeholders were also discussed.