Assisting National Authorities of the Republic of Albania to decrease the risk of weapon proliferation and misuse of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW)

Project Info
OSCE Region
20 August 2021 - 31 July 2024
Gender Marker

Project Implementation Team (PIT) will consist of a Project Manager (PM) who will be offered as an in kind contribution of the Presence to this project, a National Professional Project Officer (PO), a National Professional Communications Officer (CO), a Project Implementation Assistant (PIA), and a Project Procurement Assistant (PPA).

The PIT will be responsible for the entire project cycle management, i.e. in setting the legal, managerial, monitoring, and verification frameworks, altogether referred to as Implementation Framework, for efficient operational plan implementation in line with the OSCE’s Common Regulatory Management System and effective achievement of the project results.

The PIT in co-operation with the MoI representatives, will keep the Presence, the OSCE pS and the donors updated on the results during the implementation of the activities, by presenting the achievements and challenges at the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) plenary and informal groups of friends’ meetings.


Project does not envisage use of implementing partners, nor formalised partnerships. 


Project Objective is: To enhance MoI and ASP SALW control and non-proliferation capacities in Albania.

This project also contributes to the Unified Budget Programme Objective: To support the Albanian security sector to effectively address priority challenges, and function in line with international obligations.


The Project and its outcomes offer solutions which shall change and improve the capacity of the national agencies in various areas of relevance to their SALW Strategy objectives, and in line with the Presence’s programmatic endeavours. The Project aims to sustainably improve the capacities of the beneficiary to implement the SALW Control Strategy in view of their respective roles and competencies.

Emphasis will be placed on ensuring local ownership, increased knowledge and buy-in, and raising awareness of best practices and their practical application and benefit in Albania and beyond. Developed bylaws and SOPs will guide appropriate operational work on the part of the MoI beyond the project’s duration.

The established co-ordination mechanism and the developed awareness-raising/communication strategy will moreover support the work of the SALW Control Co-ordination Board on Project-related efforts beyond the Project’s duration. The legal framework governing the K9, as well as the infrastructure used by the K9 Institute (i.e. training courses, facilities, equipment and other resources) are already in place and the project will support their necessary upgrades. To ensure sustainability and an adequate exit strategy, the project will advocate with the MoI to earmark sufficient annual national budget funding in order to ensure continued maintenance of equipment and goods provided through the Project, as well as to ensure impact of project results beyond its duration.

Institutionalization of the developed SOPs and the incorporation of the developed training course materials and curricula into the official training programmes will significantly contribute to sustainability of efforts and results. Furthermore, the ToT component of the Project will also generate additional buy-in and ensure sustainable training capacities enabling the effective imparting of knowledge beyond the Project’s duration.

Pursuant to the guidance provided by the authorities, the Project will support the establishment of SALW deactivation facility that would meet all relevant international requirements, operate in a cost effective manner, and would not create a financial burden on the budgets of the Albanian authorities. In addition, Project advisory support to improve and harmonize legislation and SOPs on SALW deactivation will significantly contribute to establishing optimal required personnel structures, establish necessary infrastructure and work processes, and thus ensure sustainability of Project results.

The project is in line with the 2021 UBP of the Presence and its Objective 1 To support the Albanian security sector to effectively address priority challenges, and function in line with international obligations, as well as respective Outcome 1.1 Security Sector agencies and institutions are more effective, accountable and transparent. Accordingly, the project contributes to the OSCE-wide efforts and measures aimed at addressing the illicit trafficking of SALW. Moreover, this project is part of an OSCE comprehensive programme on supporting efforts to prevent and combat illicit trafficking of SALW and Conventional Ammunition (CA) in South-Eastern Europe. The project also contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): 16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere; 16.4 By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows; 16.A Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international co-operation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime; and to SDG 5.2 Eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.


Project envisages following activitites:

Activity 1.1 Support to the development of a bylaw on deactivation and an action plan for its implementation

Activity 1.2 Support to the establishment and functioning of mechanisms for due implementation and oversight of SALW deactivation

Activity 1.3 Develop a Training Manual on SALW deactivation, and provide training for the local practitioners

Activity 2.1 Develop SOP for the use of K9 capacity, as well as the K9 Master Plan

Activity 2.2 Training programme on the application of the SOP for the use of K9 capacity

Activity 2.3 Technical specifications and construction design for upgrades of the K9 unit

Activity 2.4 Implementation of infrastructure upgrades for kennels, office facilities and K9 perimeter

Activity 2.5 Providing platforms to promote the use of K9 capacities through national and regional competitions

Activity 3.1 Support to the design of a coordinated Awareness Raising and Communication Strategy

Activity 3.2 Support to the implementation of the Awareness Raising and Communication Strategy


Project identified several risks, and based on them developed a Risk management plan designed to mitigate them. 

Background And Justification

During the communist era, Albania stockpiled massive stocks of arms, ammunition and explosives pursuant to its national security strategy. These stockpiles were looted in 1997 once the political and economic crisis led to popular unrest. In less than a week, a significant amount of arms, ammunition and explosives transitioned into illegal possession of the civilians. Despite the fact that over the last twenty years Albanian law enforcement undertook significant action to address this problem, illicit arms possession and trafficking of SALW, ammunition and explosives has not been prioritised and thus not finalised. The problem of illegal possession, misuse and trafficking persists, as noted in several Strategic documents of Albanian authorities, international partners and OSCE assessments.

Recognising the significance of the problem at hand, in 2017 the Albanian government established a National SALW Commission, an inter-ministerial advisory and co-ordination body chaired by Albania’s Deputy Minister of Interior. The main role of the SALW Commission is to develop and monitor actions devoted to SALW control. This process coincided with the regional Franco-German led initiative to address the problem of SALW control in the entire Western Balkans.

On 1 February 2018, at a regional meeting in Podgorica, deputy ministers of interior and foreign affairs from South Eastern Europe expressed their unequivocal political commitment and aspiration to strengthening control of SALW, ammunition and explosives. They moreover explicitly recognized the spread and illicit trade as a constant and significant threat to internal and regional security. As a result, the authorities in the region developed and adopted the Roadmap for a sustainable solution to the illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) firearms and their ammunition in the Western Balkans[1] (hereinafter: Roadmap). This document, adopted at the London Summit on 10 July 2018, serves as a political, guiding and consensual document developed and owned by the regional stakeholders, agreed with the wider European authorities in achieving a sustainable solution to the illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of SALW/firearms, and its ammunition, in the Western Balkans[2].

Albanian authorities contributed to defining this commitment and have incorporated it into their National Strategy and Action Plan on SALW[3] in early 2019. Based on this strategic document the Albanian authorities identified areas where the OSCE practical assistance could be provided. Besides OSCE, Albanian authorities are working with numerous international partners in developing their SALW control capabilities, where the most important ones include the United Stated-funded International Investigative Training Assistance Programme (ICITAP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and European Union.

[1] For further details see:

[2] Term “Western Balkans” refers to countries and territories in South Eastern Europe which include: Republic of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo*, Republic of North Macedonia, and Republic of Serbia. *All references to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text should be understood in full compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

[3] For further details on the Albanian Small Arms, Light Weapons and Explosives Control Strategy 2019-2024 and its Action Plan 2019-2021 see:


Preventing, controlling and eradicating the proliferation of SALW in accordance with international initiatives and standards, and as underlined in the National SALW Strategy[1], remain strategic priorities of the Albanian Government. An important part of the mandate of the OSCE Presence in Albania (hereinafter “the Presence”) is to assist Albanian law enforcement agencies in acquiring the necessary capacities and capabilities in order to successfully address the challenges of security and rule of law.

The Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Albania (MoI) and the Albanian State Police (ASP), as the main drivers of the SALW National Strategy and Action Plan, identified several priority areas where the OSCE support is welcomed. Based on those priorities the Government of the Republic of Albania presented the request for assistance to the OSCE Presence on 25 March 2019, and presented it on 9 October 2019 at the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation. The present project is developed to respond to that assistance request, and aims at supporting the Republic of Albania’s efforts to implement OSCE commitments in the field of preventing and combating SALW proliferation, thus contributing to regional security and stability in the country. In order to provide comprehensive support in this area, the Presence co-ordinated support and input of the Forum for Security Co-operation Unit, Trans National Threat Department, as well as other relevant departments of the OSCE, in preparation of this proposal. Such an approach will continue in the process of addressing the following three priority areas as identified by the MoI and ASP:

  • Support to the establishment of a comprehensive legislative framework for the deactivation of firearms, and its due implementation;
  • Build the capacities of the ASP in strengthening their canine (K9) capabilities in detecting SALW, ammunition, and explosives;
  • Increase the capacities of Albanian authorities in raising public awareness on the dangers of misuse and proliferation of SALW.
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Forming a Project Implementation Team
Kick off event