Moldova destroys over 1,400 weapons with support of the EU and UNDP SEESAC
17 December 2015

With the financial support of the EU, over 1,400 small arms and light weapons were destroyed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ General Police Directorate of the Republic of Moldova, on 17 December 2015, at the smelting facility KST ARES UT.  This destruction enhances national and regional security and highlights the Republic of Moldova’s contribution to global nonproliferation efforts. The destruction of surplus weapons reduces the risk of proliferation and directly contributes to stability and peace.

The problem of illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons in South East Europe is a regional one and as such requires regional solutions, the kind which is regularly implemented, with financial EU support, by the South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) – a regional arms control initiative of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Regional Cooperation Council. The EU Council Decision 2013/730/CFSP, in Support of SEESAC Disarmament and Arms Control Activities in South East Europe, under which destruction is funded, is a concrete example of such measures.

“Today's event reduces significantly the risk of spreading and selling of weapons kept illegally or those not corresponding to demanded requests. At the same time it consolidates the regional stability in the South-East Europe. By assuring a more severe control of the process of issuing weapon licenses as well as of weapons owning and use by individuals we shall assure a higher level of public security.”, said the Minister of Internal Affairs, Oleg Balan.

“Recent tragic events around the globe bear witness to serious public security concerns that stem from illicit trafficking and the misuse of small arms and light weapons in the form of fueling crime, acts of terrorism, and undermining peacebuilding as well as long-term development efforts. These issues affect not only the locations of the acts of violence, but also this region – South East Europe – often identified as a source. To combat these threats, we work regionally as well as locally – addressing both the causes and effects that the misuse of firearms have on society and people’s lives”, said UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Moldova, Narine Sahakyan. “At the national level in Moldova, we are carrying out a number of activities that encourage tighter controls and the monitoring of firearms in cooperation with the authorities. Reducing the number of excess small lights and light weapons, SALW, in the country is one of these activities, and what brings us together today.”, noted Narine Sahakyan.

Promoting just, peaceful, and inclusive societies is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York in September this year and which the UN members have determined to achieve by 2030. Today’s destruction event was a direct contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 16, which aims to significantly reduce all forms of violence, and work with governments and communities to find lasting solutions to conflict and insecurity.

Today’s destruction is the fourth jointly implemented by UNDP SEESAC and Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Moldova, with previous events taking place in 2005, 2007 and 2009.


EUSAC builds directly upon SEESAC’s decade-long SALW Control Work, particularly achievements made through the previous EU-funded SALW Control project, conducted during the 2010-2012 period under the Council Decision 2010/179/CFSP. With EUR 5, 127, 650 worth of funds, granted by the EU Council Decision 2013/730/CFSP, the project, designed in close cooperation with national authorities, works on the following five interrelated streams of activities: 

  • Increased security of stockpiles: through the renovation and security improvements to storages of arms and ammunition.
  • Stockpile reduction: through the destruction of surplus arms and ammunition held in storages.
  • Improved marking, tracing and registration of SALW: through the provision of support to the establishment or enhancement of existing weapons registration and record-keeping systems.
  • Improved regional cooperation on awareness raising, information sharing and knowledge transfer: through the facilitation of regional cooperation between national institutions tasked with arms control.
  • Implementation of collection and awareness raising campaigns.

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