Strengthening OSCE action against the illicit proliferation of SALW and SCA

Project Info
OSCE Region
7 February 2018 - 31 December 2022
Gender Marker

The CPC/FSC Support Unit recruited and employed one (1) Project Support Officer (P3) and one (1) Project Assistant (G5) in line with OSCE recruitment rules and practices. These positions constitute the Project Implementation Team (PIT) and are directly involved in day-to-day project implementation under direct supervision of Senior FSC Support Officer (P4). 


Project is in the process of developing a partnership with the Spanish Guardia Civil and the French Gendarmerie. 


The project objective is to assist the OSCE Participating States to be able to better plan, implement and if necessary strengthening their commitments against the illicit proliferation of SALW/SCA.


Project will provide support the OSCE Secretariat, FO’s, assistance requesting pS and assistance providing pS to explore, ensure and demonstrate that the SALW/SCA projects impact and contribute to the OSCE three-dimensional approach to international peace and security. The approach would be to demonstrate the wider understanding and more complete picture of why and how the practical assistance SALW/SCA projects directly support and contribute to the Organization addressing the wider security challenges beyond just arms control and disarmament (e.g. gender equality, economic and environmental safety, security sector reform/governance, human rights, public-private partnerships etc.).

Project will explore and support further opportunities to provide practical advice on how Gender could be further mainstreamed in the SALW and SCA documents as well as in the SALW and SCA assistance mechanism. However, the project will not retain only theoretical focus on gender issues, but will also explore behavioural changes to be recommended as practical steps toward greater consideration of different needs and perspectives of women, men, boys and girls.


Activity 1. Project Management, Administration and Visibility

Activity 2. Assessment of the needs and requirements to update OSCE documents, plan of  action and best practices guidelines in relation to SALW/SCA and organizational learning support

Sub-Activity 2.1 Assessment and support to the participating States in updating of SALW and SCA normative framework

Sub-Activity 2.2 Collecting and collating lessons learnt and feedback on SALW and SCA  normative framework 

Activity 3. Assessment of the needs and requirements of OSCE pS, OSCE Secretariat and field operations in support of implementation of SALW/SCA practical assistance projects and advisory programmatic support

Sub-Activity 3.1 Needs assessment of OSCE SALW/SCA practical assistance requesting states and supporting the overview process

Sub-Activity 3.2 Needs assessment of OSCE SALW/SCA donor / resources providing states and supporting the overview process 

Sub-Activity 3.3 Strategic advisory and programmatic support to OSCE pS and OSCE FO’s through practical assistance projects’ lessons learnt mechanism

Activity 4. Developing feasibility study of IT system to support overview and implementation of implementation SALW/SCA practical assistance projects - COMPLETED IN 2019

Activity 5. Developing, testing and rolling out of the IT system to support the monitoring, overview, and implementation of SALW/SCA practical assistance projects

Sub-Activity 5.1 Developing and testing the SALW and SCA IT system

Sub-Activity 5.2 Roll out of the SALW and SCA IT system


Project has a developed Risk management plan designed to address a range of forseabel risks.  

Background And Justification

The OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation is mandated to deal with a wide range of politico-military issues ranging from traditional security between and within states, to addressing transnational threats such as the trafficking of weapons, including weapons of mass destruction. Its main tasks include regular consultations and intensive co-operation on military security matters; negotiations on confidence and security building measures; further reduction of the risks of conflict, and implementing agreed measures.

The OSCE engagement on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition (SCA) matters have been on normative side guided by the OSCE documents on SALW (FSC.DOC/1/00/Rev.1, 20 June 2012) and SCA (FSC.DOC/1/03/Rev.1, 23 March 2011), OSCE Plan of Action on SALW (FSC.DEC/2/10) as well as OSCE Best Practice Guide on SALW (FSC.DEC/5/03) and OSCE Handbook of Best Practices on Conventional Ammunition (FSC.DEC/608). The OSCE documents on SALW and SCA also prescribe the formal assistance mechanism, i.e. the procedure used for dealing with a request for assistance and model questionnaires for a requesting state and an assisting/donor state.

Since 2004, the OSCE has delivered SALW and SCA assistance throughout the OSCE region. The assistance aimed to reduce the number of unplanned explosions at munitions sites (UEMS) and reduce the proliferation of SALW and conventional ammunition (CA), which in turn may lead to violent crime, terrorist acts, and armed conflict. The OSCE sought to achieve these objectives by implementing activities to enhance the knowledge, attitudes, intentions, and behaviours related to the management of SALW and CA stockpiles; support the development, adoption, and implementation of national SALW and SCA policies and action plans; destroy surplus, outdated and unstable stockpiles; and improve the safety and security of stockpiles through construction and refurbishment of storage sites.

The issues of illicit trafficking, excessive and destabilizing accumulation and uncontrolled spread of, illegal diversion, risks of loss and theft of SALW and SCA remain high on the politico-military agenda in the OSCE region. Improving the efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability of efforts to address these issues, require dialogue on review and update of normative documents related to SALW/SCA (to include the best practices handbooks), relevant inputs and consultations among subject matter experts in order to support and complement the work of the FSC Chairperson of the IGOF on SALW and FSC Chair’s Coordinator for projects on SALW/SCA.

Additionally, OSCE pS should consider a more planned and integrated approach in strengthening efforts in addressing the issues and priorities related to SALW/SCA. The (technical) assistance needs should reflect not only the current, but also future considerations in line with elaborated strategies/roadmaps to address the SALW/SCA related issues on the long-run. The assistance provision / donor states should consider the same. This would not only enable the OSCE pS and OSCE Secretariat and Field Operations (FO) to better orchestrate practical assistance project interventions, aligning them for the implementation of broader strategies/roadmaps as well as to facilitate and coordinate investment decisions to specific project interventions among broad national and international stakeholders. It would provide a venue for a better strategic management of efforts to address SALW/SCA issues.


The Vienna’s Ministerial Council Decision (MC.DEC/10/17) reaffirmed the commitments of the participating States as per the OSCE Documents on SALW (FSC.DOC/1/00/Rev.1, 20 June 2012) and SCA (FSC.DOC/1/03/Rev.1, 23 March 2011) and willingness of OSCE pS to complement and thereby reinforce the implementation of the OSCE Documents on SALW and SCA.
The Ministerial Council tasked the Forum for Security Co-operation, in accordance with its mandate, in 2018, to:

  • continue to strengthen efforts to fully implement the existing measures and commitments set out in the OSCE Document on SALW, the OSCE Document on SCA, and related FSC decisions;
  • continue further steps to improve the efficiency and outcome of SALW and SCA projects to ensure the maximum possible value in dealing with the challenges associated with SALW and SCA in line with the OSCE assistance mechanisms as outlined in the OSCE Documents on SALW and SCA and relevant FSC decisions;
  • further intensify efforts to continue implementing the OSCE Plan of Action on SALW in all its aspects;
  • continue to explore ways to review and, where appropriate, supplement the OSCE Document on SALW, the OSCE Document on SCA and the OSCE Handbooks of Best Practices on SALW and on Conventional Ammunition, as well as the CSCE Principles Governing Conventional Arms Transfers;
  • continue to exchange views and information and share best practices, on a voluntary basis and if relevant to the mandate of the FSC;
  • explore ways to complement the existing OSCE measures aimed at addressing the illicit trafficking of SALW;
  • continue providing extra-budgetary contributions on a voluntary basis to support FSC assistance projects on SALW and SCA;
  • explore possibilities to provide, where appropriate, voluntary expert advice in OSCE assistance projects on SALW and SCA by participating States having specific knowledge.

The proposed project is contributing to fulfilment of the above-mentioned tasks.

sdg sdg
Design and development of the SALW Portal prototype
Side event at BMS 8
Western Balkans Roadmap Ministerial
advertise vacancy for P2
Finalise 2 more Donor Profiles
Testing of SALW Portal
Advertise vacancy for S2
Development of 4 more knowledge products
Launch SALW Portal