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Armament Depots under the Protection of a UNDP/OSCE Project

The depots of small arms and light weapons (SALW) retrofitted under the joint UNDP/OSCE project “Capacity Building of Small Arms and Light Weapons Stockpile Management and Security” were inaugurated yesterday in the military unit No. 20193 in the town of Barysaŭ.

That military unit is the largest and the most important site of Phase I of the project, as it is located in the immediate proximity of the town’s residential areas, which necessitates rigorous and reliable measures in order to prevent burglary attempts, theft, larceny, and losses of SALW. To improve security at the depots in Barysaŭ, approximately 400,000 US dollars was allocated by the project. Perimeter fencing, inside and outside lighting, fire alarms and security systems were installed there; communication means and PC equipment were procured.

"Small arms and light weapons proliferation and misuse can have transnational dimensions," – said Mr. Antonius Broek, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus in his speech at the opening ceremony. “By providing improved physical security of SALW stockpiles, our joint project contributes not only to local and national security, it as well contributes towards regional stability in Central and Eastern Europe.”

Five military units located in four Belarusian cities (Barysaŭ, Brest, Viciebsk, and Asipovichy) have been covered by Phase I of the project (2007 – 2010). Thanks to the project, SALW depots have been equipped with security systems, fire alarms, computer equipment, and communications means.

At this time, the project is in transition to Phase II, and improvement of 10 more SALW depots is envisaged. The total project budget will amount to approximately 4,000,000 US dollars, of which more than 1.5 million dollars has already been received from the OSCE (i.e., from the governments of Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Belgium, Norway, and Finland).

“Successful implementation of Phase I is conducive to the mobilization of resources for performing work at other project sites, first and foremost, at a large artillery ammunition base in Homieĺ that is on the priority list,” said Mr. Vladimir Baranov, National Coordinator of the project and Head of the Missile-Artillery Armament Department of the Ministry of Defence.
It was pointed out in the course of the event that the positive experience of Phase I of the joint project has good potential for being disseminated not only within Belarus, but also in other countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

For additional information, please contact Ms. Anna Parovaya, Project Manager, at +375-17-298-3171, or Mr. Vladislav Khilkevich, UNDP Communications Associate in Belarus, at +375-17-227-3817.

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