In the late 90’s, the uncontrolled spread of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and the surplus and precarious stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition (CA) and explosives became to be seen as a crucial problem on the international and regional fora. The existing surpluses of SALW and/or the shelf life exceeded stockpiles of CA pose significant hazards to people, the environment and the security of countries.
The United Nations, the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) and other regional organizations have addressed these problems in several initiatives with the common aim of clearly improving the current situation through international cooperation and assistance.
Two crucial thematic areas of international assistance and cooperation, both are aimed at reducing destabilizing accumulations; combating the uncontrolled spread; and preventing illicit trafficking of SALW/CA:
• to reduce the global surplus of SALW/CA and
• to promote the proper management and security of national stockpiles.
The aim of the Multinational Small Arms and Ammunition Group (MSAG) is to enhance the development of a capacity on Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM), exchange best practices with regards to SALW/CA and orchestrate destruction and disposal, in order to reduce accidents and the number of SALW in circulation.
The MSAG is an apolitical, informal, multinational assembly of like-minded states that undertakes, at the discretion of the member states, the development of any SALW/CA related Standard Operative Procedures and Training Programmes deemed necessary to improve the quality of the efforts made in the field of SALW/CA.
lnternational Assistance can be provided by the MSAG with:
- STAFF ASSESSMENT VlSITS (SAV), which are basicly Inilial assessments of the current sifuation by a group of experts.
- CAPACITYBUILDING/TRAINING, through PSSM Seminars and Courses in three different levels:
- Political, for senior management
- Technical, for technical personnel
- Executive, for middle management
Implementation in three main areas:
- Storage Security
- Storage Management
- Weapons and Ammunition desfruction