Support to Expert Assessment Visits under the OSCE Documents on SALW and SCA

Project Info
OSCE Region
1 March 2016 - 31 December 2021
Gender Marker

Project is managed by FSC SU Project suport officer Mr. Luka Buhin. 

The recruitment of qualified experts to conduct assessment visits and provide recommendations on how to address the challenges faced by the pS will be one of the main inputs under this project. The recruitment of experts will be conducted under two modalities: 1) recruitment through advertisement of a vacancy notice on the OSCE webpage and 2) selection of experts from the existing roaster.

For provision of high quality assessment reports to the pS, it is envisaged to recruit, if necessary, interpreters/proof-readers as consultants. For the selection procedures of the required experts and consultants the relevant OSCE recruitment rules and practices will be applied, as well as equal opportunity will be provided to male and female applicants. Information about the available vacancies will be shared also with all pS, who could invite qualified experts to apply within the established deadlines.


The project will be implemented by the OSCE Secretariat’s Forum for Security Co-operation Support Section. The Section will work closely with the requesting States to define the number of experts and their field of expertise.
The information about the required experts will be distributed on timely manner to the OSCE pS with the request to reach out to as many qualified applicants as possible and encourage them to apply for the vacancies.


To facilitate the implementation of the assistance mechanisms under the OSCE Documents on SALW and SCA by organizing the assessment visits and providing in timely manner experts with relevant knowledge to address the problems identified by the participating States in their requests for assistance.


The assistance mechanisms under the OSCE Documents on SALW and SCA were set up to address emerging risks related to stockpiles of weapons and ammunition. The responses to these risks were the development of projects with limited timeframe and budget. As the assessment visits are part of this assistance process, funding for their implementation was scarce, secured on ad-hoc basis, and not sufficient. This project will provide interested donor states with the possibility to provide earmarked resources for such visits, and thus ensure swift initiation of the projects’ assessments.


Activity 1.1 Hiring of experts

Activity 1.2 Expert Assessment Visits

Activity 1.3 Administration and visibility tasks

  • Risk of COVID-19 related situations in multiple OSCE pS, which impose travel and movement restrictions. This risk will be mitigated by rescheduling Assessment Visits & Plan Contingency such as E-Consultations.
  • Experts with knowledge relevant to the needs identified by the pS not available for deployment. This risk will be mitigated by ensuring that information about the recruitment is shared timely with the Delegation of pS, while pS will be urged to encourage suitable candidates to apply for the vacancies. The vacancy announcement will be shared with professional associations and specialized International Organizations.
  • Risk of the expert assessment team not obtaining sufficient information for drafting the final report. This risk will be mitigated in such a way that a detailed assessment visit plan will be prepared and agreed with the requesting State, which will specify the duration of the visit, the locations to be assessed and the information, which the national authorities will need to provide.
Background And Justification

Since 2000 the OSCE pS have submitted more than 45 requests for assistance to the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC). The requests were filed under the assistance mechanism envisaged in the OSCE Documents on SALW and SCA. The requests addressed complex, and in many cases highly specialized needs of the pS in fulfilling their OSCE commitments. The needs included assistance on the security and management of stockpiles of small arms; assistance with, and possible monitoring of, the reduction and disposal of small arms; advice or mutual assistance to implement and reinforce border controls to reduce illicit trafficking in small arms; assistance with small arms collection and control programmes.


The procedure for dealing with a request for assistance by pS includes the following elements:
First, in initiating the OSCE response to the request, the Chairperson of the FSC, or the designated co-ordinator for SALW projects, start consultations, informing the FSC as appropriate, and seeks additional information and/or clarification from the pS making the request. This may include organizing an initial visit, which may include a pre-feasibility study. Consultations will be undertaken to identify and contact potential assisting/donor States, as well as initiating contacts with appropriate OSCE bodies and institutions. The FSC Support Section assists in liaison with other relevant international organizations (IOs).

Second, one or more expert assessment visits may be deemed advisable in order to respond to the request for assistance. Follow-up technical assessment visits will be carried out by expert teams consisting of technical experts. The team leader appointed by the FSC Chairperson provides the final report upon conclusion of the assessment process.

The assessments carried under the OSCE Documents on SALW and SCA focus frequently on the situation regarding the composition of the stockpiles; the security conditions, including stockpile management aspects; and the risks posed by these stockpiles. The reports from the assessments include recommendations for action to be taken regarding the parts of the stockpiles that should be destroyed; the processes to be used and the security requirements; the assessment of the costs and other implications; the storage and the safety conditions; and list the most urgent steps to be taken.

Third, after the consultations and assessment, the operational and financial implications of responding to the request for assistance, as well as possible implementing partners will be addressed by the OSCE FSC. On the basis of the information gathered through the steps above, the FSC Support Section and the relevant field operation, as appropriate, will produce a detailed project plan, which will include details of the project’s financial requirements.

The implementation of the assistance mechanism, specifically the expert assessment visits, contains several challenges. The OSCE Documents on SALW and SCA do not foresee a specific schedule for submitting requests for assistance. The requests reach the OSCE FSC at an ad-hoc basis. Sometimes several requests are submitted in one year. Thus, the resources required for the implementation of the assessment visits might not correspond to the existing funding environment within the specified timeframe. Furthermore, often the needs to be assessed require high degree of specialized knowledge, which is not available as in-kind contribution from the pS. To secure such experts, the FSC Support Section needs to recruit them from the open market. Finally, some requests require urgent actions in order to address the existing problem. In such cases, the fundraising process for the needs assessment could result in delaying the urgently needed responses.

To address the abovementioned challenges, the current project will provide an opportunity for interested donor states to allocate funds towards future expert needs assessments under the assistance mechanisms established in the OSCE Documents on SALW and SCA.