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13 September 2017
1. Mr. Chairman, the European Union and its Member States would like to inform the FSC that, following from the recent Decision to support OSCE projects on UNSCR 1540 and chemical safety and security in Ukraine, on 4 August 2017 the Council of the EU adopted Decision 2017/1424/CFSP in support of OSCE activities to reduce the risk of illicit trafficking and excessive accumulation of small arms and light weapons and conventional ammunition, in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and in Georgia.
2. The EU will contribute a total of 1.35 million EUR over three years for the following activities, which are to be implemented by the OSCE Secretariat: a. To increase the physical security of SALW and ammunition stockpiles at fifteen border police stations and one regional centre for border affairs, in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Furthermore the project will enhance capacity by providing training, along with the development of improved procedures.
b. To assist with the disposal of 461 tonnes of surplus ammunition in Georgia.
3. This Decision stems from assistance requests by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Georgia in 2016. In line with the EU SALW strategy and building upon the successful implementation of EU Council Decision 2012/662/CFSP supporting SALW control activities in Kyrgyzstan and Belarus, the Union seeks to promote peace and security by reducing the threat posed by the illicit trafficking and excessive accumulation of SALW and conventional ammunition in its neighbourhood. The projects also contribute to counter-terrorism efforts by enabling OSCE to address one of the sources of supply to terrorist networks.
4. In pursuit of effective multilateralism the EU recognises the OSCE as one of the regional organisations with which cooperation should be developed. We are pleased to be able to demonstrate this in a tangible way, through partnering with the OSCE in this project, thereby enhancing peace and security in the region.
5. We express our appreciation to the OSCE Secretariat and the competent authorities in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Georgia, for their cooperation in developing this Council Decision, and look forward to working together with the OSCE Secretariat with a view to the timely and full implementation of this project.