The problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus are of great concern to the international community. The magnitude of the problem is illustrated by the frequency of accidental explosive events in ammunition depots worldwide. These explosions invariably result in the loss of many lives, particularly where depots are located in or near urban areas.
There is also alarming evidence of high rates of diversion of ammunition from poorly secured stockpiles in or close to conflict or high-crime areas. Diverted ammunition is a major source of supply for groups involved in intra-state conflict or criminal activities and for the making of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which are often used in acts of terrorism.