The OSCE Mission to Moldova established a team managing the project implementation comprising of: Politico Military Officer - Project Manager (15% of time), and OSCE CPR Senior Programme Assistant (25% of time).
Project also relies on support from short term internationally recruited consultants, as well as locally recruited Construction Engineer. Training support and expertise is provided through Mobile Training Teams provided by supporting pS, including Austria, Switzerland and Germany.
Any staff hired by the OSCE in relation to the project shall be hired through a competitive recruitment process, in conformity with the Uniform Guidelines on the Administration of Project Personnel paid from Extra-Budgetary Funds and Staff Instruction 17/2004 on Standard Recruitment Procedures. The consultants will be hired in accordance with OSCE Staff Instruction 23/2006 on Special Service Agreements (SSA).
Main partner of the project is the Multinational Training Team (MTT). Established in 2013 with high-level professional experts on SALW from Austria, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. The MTT continues its activities and is committed beyond 2021 to provide in kind assistance through the new project activities, in supporting Moldovan stakeholders in further enhancing their skills in ammunition risk assessment and enabling them to carry out a 100 per cent inspection to determine the safe storage life of munitions and reduce the risk of unwanted explosions.
The project’s objective is to improve the general safety of citizens of the Republic of Moldova by increasing the capacity of the relevant stakeholders in the field of addressing SALW and CA and minimizing the risks derived from weapons and explosive materials at ammo storage sites.
Furthermore, the project fully corresponds to the MtM Conflict Prevention and Resolution’s Programme’s UBP Outcome 1.1.3 “Increased technical and operational capacity of both sides to the conflict to destroy surplus and unwanted arms and ammunition, store existing stocks of arms and ammunition in line with international standards.
The project fully corresponds to the Mission to Moldova Conflict Prevention and Resolution’s Programme’s UBP Outcome 1.1.3 “Increased technical and operational capacity of both sides to the conflict to destroy surplus and unwanted arms and ammunition, store existing stocks of arms and ammunition in line with international standards.
Project is designed to implement following activities:
Activity 1.1: Organization of 100 per cent physical inspection at ammunition storage sites
Sub-Activity 1.1.1: 100 per cent physical inspection at Floresti ammunition storage site
Sub-Activity 1.1.2 100 per cent physical inspection at Cahul ammunition depot
Activity 1.2 Digitalization of ammunition record keeping system
Activity 1.3 Enhancing Firefighting Safety and Security of the Storage Facilities
Activity 2.1 Organization of training courses at the National Army Ammunition Training Centre and setting up the Laboratory for Ammunition Chemical Assessment
Sub-Activity 2.1.1 Conducting training events for the National Army appointed officers on Ammunition Life Cycle Management.
Sub-Activity 2.1.2 Development of SoP on handling SALW and CA at ammo storage sites.
Sub-Activity 2.1.2 Development of SoP on handling SALW and CA at ammo storage sites.
Activity 2.2: The chemical laboratory facilities are upgraded and equipped to facilitate effective ammunition chemical analysis.
Activity 3.1 Under this activity estimated 170 tonnes of the obsolete and dangerous ammunition will be destroyed from all 5 storage sides in accordance with established schedule and priority.
Activity 4.1 Project external evaluation
Activity 4.2 OSCE MtM will support the MoD in establishing regular international and national co-ordination mechanism/platform.
The project developed a Risk management plan designed to address a range of identified risks.
The Ministry of Defence of Republic of Moldova possesses significant quantities of small arms and light weapons (SALW) and conventional ammunition (CA) stockpiles that require application of contemporary physical security and stockpile management practices to prevent occurrence of undesirable events. The munitions date from 1950s to 1980s and are on an average 40 years old. The storage conditions for SALW and CA are not adequate to accommodate the armament and overhauling and maintenance practices are not developed. Obsolete CA with expired shelf life, stored in humid and fluctuating temperatures, and not properly maintained requires specific attention. These factors indicate that Republic of Moldova faces with high risk of unplanned explosion at munitions site (UEMS) and SALW may represent a specific target for theft or illicit proliferation of different types.
Based on the above written, the MtM requested for an external evaluation of the Comprehensive Programme. The external evaluation was conducted in January 2017. The evaluation examined the achieved results from 2010 until 2016, possible impacts and sustainability. The evaluation report identified seven areas for further development, namely: establishment of high-level policy dialogue on SALW; strategic planning and vision setting; removing immediate threat to safe and secure environment; enhancing national capacities to manage SALW and CA programmes; upgrading storage facilities conditions; improving stockpile management practices and addressing cross-cutting issues. As a result of the evaluation the MtM had series of consultations with the Ministry of Defence about the way forward. In addition, the MtM developed the Action Plan on SALW for the MoD, which was endorsed on February 2018.
As a result of the above mentioned the current project has been developed on the basis of the evaluation report, and on the existing Comprehensive SALW programme, as part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the OSCE Mission to Moldova and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed in 2010. Project activities are in line with the conclusions of the 2nd High-level National High Level Conference on SALW and CA held in February 2018 and attended by more than 70 high level officials from the Moldovan government, Armed Forces, Embassies accredited to Chisinau and various international organizations, including the OSCE.
The project is implemented with the assistance and in-kind contribution of outside experts. MoD provides also as in-kind contribution, teaching and materials for students using existing resources. This project also encourages and fosters in-kind contributions from participating States to donate necessary equipment to reduce the risks and enhance the safety at ammunition depots.
Comparing with the past years it is worth to underline that the Republic of Moldova has shown constructive engagement and acknowledged the need for destruction and utilization of obsolete ammunition, which was not the case at the beginning of the Comprehensive Programme. As of 2017 due to the enhanced OSCE co-ordination the MoD revealed that approximately 170 tonnes of obsolete ammunition should be utilized / destructed.
Moldova’s authorities, with the strong support from MtM, have developed the Action Plan on SALW and CA, covering the period 2017-2020, which was endorsed in February 2017 by the MoD. The Action Plan activities focus first on risk mitigation, second on enhancing the safety and security of storage sites as well as the disposal of obsolete ammunition, both of which contribute to stability in the Republic of Moldova and in the region. More precisely the Action Plan has seven objectives, namely: developing the MoD chemical assessment capacity; explosive risk mitigation; ammunition life cycle management capacity development; capacity building development on SALW; enhanced international and inter agency co-operation; information campaign and development of regulatory frameworks (such as SoPs).
It is worth underlining that the MtM conducted series of bilateral talks with different international organizations (such as MTT, ICRC, SEESAC and Golden West Humanitarian Foundation) in order to minimize overlapping and duplication as well to identify how to support the MoD jointly in implementing their commitments under the Action Plan.
This project, which is the follow up the Moldova SALW and CA projects, aims to support the Moldova stakeholders in explosive risk mitigation by enhancing their capacities in conducting ammunition chemical assessment, inventory inspections, which will be continued with a 100 per cent ammunition visual inspection. During the previous phases of the Comprehensive Programme the following activities were carried out: construction of a CA storage facility in an appropriate location on a military territory (active still); upgrade of SALW and CA storage facilities; procurement and equipping of a mobile system for visual inspection of CA; destruction of cluster bombs; destruction of air bombs; disposal of obsolete air to air rockets in Georgia; disposal of obsolete 5V28 surface-to-air missiles; ammunition technician training; disposal of obsolete and unwanted ammunition and procurement of assets and equipment needed to improve the physical security and storage management of weapons and ammunition.