A new two-year project "Strengthening the Capacity of the State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus in Combatting Illicit Trafficking of Weapons and Ammunition" will be implemented in Belarus. The project financed by the Federal Republic of Germany aims to enhance security and stability in Eastern Europe and beyond by strengthening the capacity of the State Border Committee in combating illicit trafficking of weapons and ammunition.

On 11 June 2019, the official ceremony was held to sign the Donor Agreement on the provision of funds of 1.5 million USD for the implementation of the project, as well as to sign the project document between UNDP in Belarus and the State Border Committee.

The Donor Agreement was signed between UNDP in Belarus and the Federal Republic of Germany. The documents were signed by Ms. Alexandra Solovieva, UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Peter Dettmar, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Belarus, Mr. Anatoly Lapo, Chairperson of the State Border Committee of Belarus.

"Thanks to this project, measures will be taken to prevent illegal transit of weapons and ammunition. Importantly, the project will contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in terms of promoting peaceful and open society in order to ensure access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels," Ms. Alexandra Solovieva said.

"The use of firearms causes more casualties than any other type of weapons and exacerbates conflicts. The cross-border illicit trade in firearms and ammunition threatens the security of the countries concerned. For this reason, Germany advocates within the UN, OSCE and EU for firearms control and supports a large number of global and regional initiatives to combat illicit trade in firearms. Over the past year, Germany has provided financial support in the amount of 17 million euros for the implementation of global projects in this field," Mr. Peter Dettmar said.

The key objective of the new project is to contribute to the strengthening the capacity of the State Border Committee in fighting illicit trafficking of weapons and ammunition. The project envisages development of a risk analysis system, procurement of technical equipment and software, organization of trainings and study tours to other states to get acquainted with cutting-edge experience in risk profiling and detection of illegal weapons and ammunition in the context of border control.

In addition, the project will enhance training of the future professionals through development of training modules and training courses on risk analysis for Border Service Institute, as well as on detection of weapons and ammunition for the Centre for Training of Border Control Specialists.

"The project focuses on practical training and knowledge development of border guards: the most advanced software and hardware for collection and processing of information related to risk analysis will be installed at 11 units at the central and regional levels. In addition, it is planned to introduce new training approaches to ensure quality education for future specialists in risk analysis at the Border Service Institute," said Mr. Anatoly Lapo.

The situation in the field of illicit trafficking is affected by certain factors, which include unique geographical location of the Republic of Belarus bordered on the west by the EU and on the east by the Russian Federation. The country is often regarded by the organized criminal groups as a convenient transit corridor for illicit transportation of weapons, ammunition and explosives.

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