Ammunition stockpiles that are not adequately managed pose the dual dangers of unintended explosions and diversion to the illicit market. In response to these challenges, the United Nations developed the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG), providing practical, step-by-step advice for national authorities and other relevant stakeholders that wish to improve the safety and security of ammunition storage sites.
Under the UN SaferGuard Programme (www.un.org/ammunition), which is the IATG’s knowledge management platform, a regional UN SaferGuard technical workshop on ammunition management was convened in Lima, Peru on 25 and 26 July 2018.
This IATG outreach event was jointly organized by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), its UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD).
Technical ammunition experts from across Latin America and the Caribbean met to exchange views on national experience and good practice in ammunition management and to discuss regional trends in trafficking of ammunition.
UNLIREC made a presentation of the findings of its study on ammunition control practices in Latin America and the Caribbean and its first case-study in a series on profiling ammunition across Latin America and the Caribbean.
Experts at the workshop also reflected on their experiences with application of the IATG and showed great interest in IATG implementation support tools and resources.
UNODA introduced the UN SaferGuard validation process which seeks to develop an impartial, standardised methodology for validating ammunition expertise in accordance with the IATG. This methodology will be used to develop a roster of international ammunition experts for use by the UN SaferGuard Quick-response Mechanism to provide harmonized technical assistance requested by interested States.
To further support the validation process and to define the essential criteria for rostered ammunition experts, workshop participants engaged in a survey on national systems of ammunition management.
The workshop concluded with a demonstration of laser marking of small arms ammunition conducted by UNLIREC, recommending that States consider the use of this technology which disputes the common stereotype that it is too expensive and time consuming.