UN staff attended a briefing on 14 February 2017 during which the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA) presented a new handbook for United Nations disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) practitioners entitled Effective Weapons and Ammunition Management in a Changing Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Context. This practical handbook is the first output of a two-phased, joint project by DPKO and ODA intended to support the work of United Nations DDR practitioners related to management of arms and ammunition in increasingly challenging environments.
The handbook draws upon the most recent international arms regulations and standards, while taking into consideration good practices and innovative approaches developed in the field. It responds to the greater
need for arms control activities in DDR programmes, including weapons and ammunition management at the community level as part of community violence reduction (CVR) projects. CVR aims to prevent and reduce violence and crime in conflict, post-conflict or urban areas; it was developed as a different approach to “classical” DDR.
The handbook provides practical resources with a view to designing state-of-the-art weapons and ammunition management operations that can be implemented across the peace continuum. It is part of the ongoing effort by the UN system to increase the coherence and effectiveness of peace operations and to enhance the support provided to States in addressing the illicit flows of arms.
The handbook will serve as a foundation for phase two of the project, which will focus on the development of an annual training course. A one-week pilot training course is expected to take place in May 2018 at the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC) in Lomé, Togo. Drawing upon the substance of the handbook, the training will include practical components in which participants can practice skills such as properly marking or safely
destroying a weapon. Separately, condensed modules will be developed that can be integrated into existing DDR training courses.
The publication and training course demonstrate the United Nations’ ongoing efforts to increase the effectiveness of peace operations and to support the international community in implementing the comprehensive 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions.
The handbook is available on the UNODA website in English and French.
Drafted by: Holly McCall, UNODA