Mitigation of Safety and Security Risks related to SALW/SCA in Montenegro

Project Info
OSCE Region
9 November 2020 - 31 December 2026
Gender Marker

Implementation of Project activities will be carried out by a Project Implementation Team, consisting of:

  • Project Officer, full time, international seconded, 
  • Project Assistant, full-time, local contracted, 
  • Administrative Assistants, full-time, local contracted.

This project envisages partnerships with the following authorities: Ministry of Defence Montenegro; Armed Forces Montenegro; Austrian Armed Forces and Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency.


The projects objective is to reduce the risk of unplanned explosion at munitions sites and diversion of SALW/SCA from MoD storage sites.


This project will contribute to reducing the probability of an unplanned explosion at munitions sites significantly and countering the diversion of SALW/SCA into criminal- and/or terroristic groups through various activities that aim at strengthening the institutions sustainable and comprehensively. Ultimately this will strengthen to that effect the security not only of Montenegro but for the entire OSCE region.


Project will implement following activities:

Activity 1.1 - Transfer of knowledge on international good practice within the area of SALW/SCA management through a comprehensive mentorship program;

Activity 1.2 - Advisory and Co-ordination for MoD Montenegro Program in selected areas of a sustainable life cycle management of SALW/SCA;

Activity 1.3 - Technical Advisory on national SALW/SCA management control mechanisms;

Activity 1.4 - Technical Advisory on Gender policy in national SALW/SCA development;

Activity 1.5 - Regional transfer of knowledge within the area of SALW/SCA management through facilitation of staff exchange programme;

Activity 2.1 - Facilitation of Austrian training through logistical support;

Activity 2.2 - Support in furnishing and equipping the training facilities;

Activity 2.3 - Support MATT AUT to conduct a requirements analysis of a Level II Laboratory;

Activity 3.1 - Generate jointly with the MoD Montenegro a requirements analysis in order to fully comply with the ADR treaty;

Activity 3.2 - Procurement of two ADR compliant trucks including familiarisation training, maintenance and spare parts contract.

Activity 4.1 - Support and advice in development of project documentation for storage site upgrades;

Activity 4.2 - Support in improving firefighting capabilities in Brezovik ammunition storage facility;

Activity 4.3 - Support in establishing a surplus ammunition disposal capability within MoD and MoI.


The project developed a Risk management plan designed to address a range of identified risks. 

Background And Justification

With the adoption of the OSCE Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in 2000 (OSCE, 2012) and the OSCE document on Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition (SCA) in 2003 (OSCE, 2011) OSCE participating States (pS) recognise the risk and challenges caused by SCA, explosive material, detonating devices and SALW (SALW/SCA) in surplus and/or awaiting destruction. The risk posed by the presence of SALW/SCA may adversely affect the local population, environment and, through the possibility of illicit trafficking and uncontrolled spread, especially to terrorists and other criminal group the security of the OSCE pS. The consequences of Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS) of SCA can be severe and not only harm human lives but also damage private and public property and infrastructure. Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) resulting from an UEMS can contaminate the environment and the displacement or loss of livelihoods can have an impact on the economy. Additionally UEMS can have consequences on politics as public trust decreases and may lead to unrests.

From 2007 until 2018 OSCE in partnership with the Government of Montenegro and UNDP has supported the MoD of Montenegro with 6.2 Million Euro to dispose of around 3´300 tons of heavy weapon systems, 128 tons of toxic substances, 1´806 tons of surplus ammunition (Ministry of Defence of Montenegro, 2018). In addition, two ammunition storage facilities received infrastructure upgrades. The Montenegro Demilitarization (MONDEM) program was closed in 2018. Nevertheless, post MONDEM visits have shown that still substantial work has to be done in order that the MoD of Montenegro can achieve the self-set end state published in the Master Document in 2019 as following: “The end-state is the transparent disposal of surplus Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (WEO) and the development of a sustainable Life-Cycle Management system for WEO.”


On 25. June 2019 Montenegro sent an official assistance request to the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation which was officially announced on the FSC meeting on 9. October 2019 (FSC.DEL/212/19) (Ministry of Defence of Montenegro, 2019). The assistance request asked for the support of OSCE in the areas of:

  • Destruction of surplus Explosive Ordnance, especially for those quantities whose qualitative state poses a threat to safe storage;
  • Reconstruction of the storage site "Brezovik" near Nikšić and reconstruction of the ammunition storage site "Nova lokacija" Židovići – Pljevlja;
  • Adaptation and equipping the facility designated for maintenance of ammunition (including its disassembling) – in the storage site "Brezovik";
  • Provision of a stationary surveillance laboratory;
  • Support and advise in transfer of international experiences and OSCE best practices in selected areas of Life Cycle Management (LCM) of WEO through multi-stakeholder engagement, policy guidance, exchanges and trainings;
  • Provision of certified ADR vehicles.

In order to sustain the achievements of MONDEM and to assist the MoD Montenegro in acquiring a sustainable Life-Cycle Management of SALW/SCA several activities are still required. Life-Cycle management not only takes into consideration functional elements such as planning, procurement, stockpile management and finally disposal but also structural elements such as national ownership. National ownership is key to the success of the project and is a non-material element. It requires a deep understanding of the underlying fundamentals of what has been defined in guidelines such as OSCE´s Handbook of Best Practices on Conventional Ammunition (BPG), International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG) and Modular Small-arms-control Implementation Compendium (MOSAIC). Those underlying principles need to be understood throughout the organisation and personnel working with SALW/SCA in order to create an environment that enables the sustainability of those principles and adapt them to the systems needs where necessary in the future. For instance a functional training on a tactical level may increase safety significantly for personnel handling the SALW/SCA stockpile, however with a system that is due to change over the years that knowledge has to be adjusted and this can only be done when the guidelines are submitted down from the strategic, operational to the tactical level.

Two technical assessment visits in 2019 have identified gaps that the MoD of Montenegro is facing, which limit Montenegro´s ability to achieve its end-state.

The OSCE will focus on the following areas in the short-term 2021-2023:

  • Support and advise in transfer of international experiences and OSCE best practices in selected areas of LCM of WEO through multi-stakeholder engagement, policy guidance, exchanges and;
  • Establishing surveillance capabilities of their ammunition stockpiles;
  • Provision of 2 certified ADR vehicles.

The OSCE will focus on the following areas in the medium-term 2023-2026:

  • Continued support in selected areas of LCM of WEO through a multi-stakeholder engagement;
  • Upgrades of the ammunition storage site "Brezovik" near Nikšić;
  • Increasing firefighting capabilities at ammunition storage sites;
  • Support in establishing sustainable ammunition surveillance capabilities of the MoD.

The OSCE will focus on the following areas in the long term 2026-2028:

  • Updates of the ammunition storage site "Nova lokacija" Židovići – Pljevlja;
  • Institutionalising sustainable life cycle management of SCA.
Project Officer start assignment
Project Assistant and Administrative Assistant start assignment
The project conducts the first activity, Chemical laboratory workshop
OSCE Mission to Montenegro signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Defence
OSCE Mission to Montenegro and the Ministry of Defence inaugurated the SALW/SCA training centre
The project coordination cell was formed and the first meeting conducted
The project proposal was changed to add more activities
Ten Armed Forces drivers certified to transport dangerous goods (ADR)
Procurement and delivery of two ADR trucks completed
Detailed Design for Brezovik ammunition site completed
News and media