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South Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons

The South Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SEESAC) was launched on 08 May 2002 in Belgrade. SEESAC is a component of the Regional Implementation Plan on Combating the Proliferations of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) formulated and adopted by the Stability Pact in November 2001, with the aims of stopping the flow and availability of SALW in the region, consolidating achievements so far and supporting the socio-economic conditions for peace and development in South East Europe. The uncontrolled proliferation and illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons (SALW) is a serious problem in South Eastern Europe. SALW proliferation has fuelled crime and insecurity, exacerbating conflict in the region and undermining post conflict peace-building. Problems related to SALW are likely to pose a serious constraint to economic and social development in South Eastern Europe. Established in co-operation with the UNDP and housed in their offices in Belgrade, SEESAC worked to support the Stability Pact Regional Implementation Plan for an initial period of three years; the impact of the project has led to a further two-year extension until December 2006. Political and strategic guidance and indigenous support for SEESAC is provided by a Regional Steering Group (RSG), which is composed of representatives of the governments of the states concerned, the Stability Pact, UNDP and observers from institutions such as the European Union (EU), North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and civil society. The RSG meets twice yearly and has approved the 2005 SEESAC Strategy. SEESAC operates under the guidance of The Regional Steering Group for Small Arms and Light Weapons and the UN Resident Co-ordinator in Belgrade. SEESAC liaises directly with governments and civil society, providing technical input, information exchange, co-ordination and overview of current and future efforts and fund-raising assistance for specific SALW projects. SEESAC's small team is in constant communication with all the governments involved and with the relevant international organisations, non-governmental organisations and bi-lateral donors. SEESAC's regional activities include sensitising governments and civil society on small arms issues, formulating national strategies for SALW control and incorporating small arms issues into UNDP development planning.
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