Deputy Head of Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany Otto Graf and UNDP Resident Representative Narine Sahakyan handing over the new equipment to Minister of Interior Oliver Spasovski

Skopje, August 26, 2021 – Today, the Minister of Interior Oliver Spasovski, the UNDP Resident Representative Narine Sahakyan and the Deputy Head of Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany Otto Graf promoted the new IT equipment that will enable more efficient Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) monitoring and control in the country. The equipment consists of 74 computers, 52 printers and 50 scanners, which will be deployed in the Internal Affairs Sectors and the police stations in order to enable smooth and efficient functioning of the Ministry of Interior’s information system. The donation has been done as part of the "Improving National Practices for Small Arms and Light Weapons Control and Building Resilient Communities" project, implemented by the UNDP and financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany.

"The main objective of the project is to reduce the Small Arms and Light Weapons misuse, as one of the most common causes of armed incidents in the country. The donation of this equipment represents only one segment of the overall project, which will upgrade the Ministry of Interior’s information system, and shall furthermore, through the development and implementation of the Police Information System, provide digitalization and improvement of the operational processes and accelerate the institutional information exchange. The police force is receiving a contemporary and effective tool in the fight against the illicit trade and illegal possession of Small Arms and Light Weapons, in line with their efforts to improve security in the country", stated Narine Sahakyan, Resident Representative of UNDP.

"The complete and successful implementation of the Small Arms and Light Weapons Control Initiative, resulting from the Berlin Process, is extremely important for increasing the Small Arms and Light Weapons control and the security of the citizens in all Western Balkan countries, including the Republic of North Macedonia", said Otto Graf, Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy in Skopje.

This is a second IT equipment donation in the frame of the project since 53 computers, 16 printers, 10 scanners and 25 special weapon licenses printers were delivered in October 2020. In addition to the donation of equipment, the development of software for Small Arms and Light Weapons monitoring and control is also underway. Additionally, in September, trainings will be held for 250 employees of the Ministry of Interior who will be working in this security segment.

"This is an extremely important project within the “Roadmap for control of small arms and light weapons", of which our country is a signatory. The implementation of the project will enable the Ministry of Interior to collect and analyze data on small and light weapons in the country in a faster and more accurate manner. Consequently, our fight against this type of crime will be more effective and we believe that it will contribute to increasing the level of safety of the citizens. Around 3.500 police officers at various levels, will use the new Police Information System during the first year, which will contribute to faster exchange of information between sectors, and subsequently, to a more determined and comprehensive fight against the illegal arms trafficking", stated the Minister of Interior, Oliver Spasovski.

UNDP is implementing this project as part of the regional initiative “Roadmap for control of small arms and light weapons" whose main objective is to establish a small arms and light weapons control system in the Western Balkans, in accordance with European and international standards.

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