Assistance mechanism

The OSCE has been successfully providing practical assistance to its participating States since 2003 to ensure effective stockpile management and security of SALW and SCA, as well as destroying surpluses.
To date, over forty requests from 20 participating States all over the OSCE region have been received and addressed. 

For a brief introduction to the OSCE SALW and SCA assistance mechanism see the following short films: Securing arms and ammunition | OSCE and Promoting Security and Stability: OSCE assistance on small arms and light weapons | OSCE

The Forum for Security Co-operation, which is the OSCE decision-making body dealing with politico-military aspects of security, contributes to these efforts by developing documents on CSBMs, including those regulating transfers of conventional arms, and establishing principles governing non-proliferation. The Forum oversees the implementation of the SALW and SCA assistance mechanism as described in the  OSCE documents on SALW and SCA. These landmark documents in SALW control and governance commits OSCE participating States to a set of agreed norms, principles and measures covering all aspects of SALW and SCA control. The Forum also discusses and develops norms and provides practical assistance to address the proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons.

A number of OSCE field operations are active in the area of SALW and SCA control. They co-operate with national governments and international organizations. Their activities include:

  • Strengthening small arms and light weapons and conventional ammunition stockpile management, including destruction;
  • Supporting national small arms control mechanisms;
  • Assisting with the rehabilitation of areas contaminated with explosives;
  • Assisting in disposing of dangerous chemicals stored in military premises, including mélange, a highly toxic and volatile rocket fuel component;
  • Contributing to national initiatives to collect illegal small arms and light weapons;
  • Supporting initiatives to decrease the illegal possession of weapons;
  • Organizing training and awareness-raising campaigns.