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Germany supports the destruction of surplus ammunition in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Dr. Christian Hellbach, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, and Zahira Virani, Acting UNDP Resident Representative in BiH, sign the contract of grant for the UNDP project "Urgent Action on Ammunition Destruction in BiH” © UNDP

On April 7th, 2015, Dr. Christian Hellbach, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, and Zahira Virani, Acting UNDP Resident Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, signed the contract of grant for the UNDP project "Urgent Action on Ammunition Destruction in Bosnia and Herzegovina”. During the ceremony the Ministry of Defence was represented by Mr. Boris Jerinić, Deputy Minister for Resources.

More than 15,000 tonnes of surplus ammunition are still being stored in the entire country, partly in inadequate conditions. By allocating almost 250,000.- Euro the Federal Republic of Germany makes a considerable contribution to the solution of this problem.

The money is to be used for the destruction of more than 5 million rounds of small-arms ammunition, for the improvement of the infrastructure of the ammunition incinerator as well as for the training of the personnel required.

Furthermore, the German grant represents a recognition of the progress made by the BiH Defence Ministry in handling the surplus problem. Particularly the establishment of the “Strategic Board on Disarmament and Ammunition Destruction” in the year 2013 was an important step towards improved coordination of the national and international efforts regarding the destruction of surplus weapons and ammunition.

United Nations Development Programme extends its gratitude to the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany for joining forces with the EU-funded Project EXPLODE and other international partners operating in arms control arena under the Master Plan. This financial support provided to the Ministry of Defence will further catalyze national efforts to dispose of surplus arms and ammunition more quickly and efficiently.

UNDP further commends the decision of BiH authorities to dramatically increase the annual disposal rate from previous 880 tonnes to 2,300 tonnes in 2015, as it demonstrates their continued commitment to addressing this serious threat to human security.

Since last year the Federal Republic of Germany has also been supporting the OSCE "SECUP" project for the improvement of safeguarding ammunition depots with an amount of 183,000.- Euros.

Apart from that Germany has been an active contributor in the field of humanitarian demining and has already provided a total of more than 28 million Euros since 1997.

Germany will continue its support for making Bosnia and Herzegovina safer.