The project, which was led by Canada, enabled Albania to successfully respond to the problem posed by surplus munitions, small arms and light weapons (SALW).
In total, 105 million small arms cartridges were destroyed as well as two million hand grenades and 130 000 mortar rounds. Work was carried out in Mjekёs and Poliçan by the Albanian companies ULP Mjekёs and KM Poliçan.
Contributions were made by Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.
The closing ceremony was attended by the Albanian Deputy Minister of Defence, Mr. Petrit Karabina, and representatives of the Canadian Government and the EU. Representatives from the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA) also took part in the event.
A longstanding cooperation
In 2000, Albania ratified the Ottawa Convention on prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines. The first NATO/PfP Trust Fund project which was aimed to help Albania meet its Convention obligations in time was inaugurated in January 2001. The project enabled the country to destroy more than 1.6 million of stockpiled anti-personnel landmines. It also contributed to the development of Albania’s own demilitarization infrastructure.
Both the landmines project and the SALW destruction project were meant to support Albania’s defence reform process as part of the country’s drive towards greater Euro-Atlantic integration.