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Arms Control

The timely disposal of surplus and unstable ammunition stockpiles is necessary to avoid the risks that they pose to the safety and security of the BiH people (S. Railean)Arms ControlThe timely disposal of surplus and unstable ammunition stockpiles is necessary to avoid the risks that they pose to the safety and security of the BiH people (S. Railean)

The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina continues its support to BiH’s efforts in the field of arms control, disarmament and Confidence and Security Building Measures as they remain important elements that contribute to the country’s security and stability as well as good neighbourly relations with other countries in the region.

In particular, the Mission gives high priority to assisting BiH to comply with its OSCE politico-military commitments in support of the country’s continuous effort at destroying its surplus military stockpiles of approximately 18,000 tonnes of ammunition and 40,000 pieces of weapons of all types, while upgrading prospective storage sites in line with international standards and best practices for safety and security.

The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina supports arms control mechanisms and improvement of military arms and ammunition stockpile management, advocating for increased destruction of the country’s large amount of arms and ammunition surpluses that are posing a security risk to the country and beyond.

In close co-operation with national partners, the International Community present in BiH (EUDEL, UNDP, NATO, EUFOR) and other regional partner organizations and initiatives (RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation, SEESAC, RASR, etc.), the Mission implements the following activities:

  • Monitoring and co-ordination of arms control activities as well as supporting national efforts aimed at improving the control capacity of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the field of small arms and light weapons;
  • Monitoring disposal of BiH stockpiles of surplus and unstable ammunition and SALW as well as monitoring of BiH ammunition and weapons storage sites, demolition ranges and demilitarization facilities;
  • Implementing projects for the security upgrade of the BiH ammunition and weapons storage sites as well as assisting the respective BiH institutions in assessing, organizing, planning and fundraising for increasing the safety and security of the country’s prospective ammunition and weapons storage sites;
  • Organizing arms control activities in co-operation with local and regional partners and facilitation of participation of local counterparts in arms control training activities in the country and abroad;
  • Providing support to the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office for Article IV of Annex 1B of the Dayton Peace Accords (Sub-Regional Arms Control Agreement);
  • Providing support to the Armed Forces BiH Verification Centre.

In March 2011, Bosnia and Herzegovina requested assistance from the OSCE in enhancing the security and stockpile management of Ministry of Defence ammunition and weapons storage sites.

To this end, on 1st June 2012, the OSCE and UNDP presented a joint project proposal for funding consideration by EU under its Instrument for Stability. This project, titled by the EU as the “EXPLODE Project”, is designed to address several aspects of arms control including activities to reduce the risk of accidental explosion by upgrading the “safety” of Armed Forces BiH prospective ammunition and weapons storage sites.

Additionally, the Mission has also developed SECUP (#SECUPBiH) a complementary project to the “EXPLODE” Project, which will address the “security” related activities aimed at upgrading the security infrastructure at the ammunition and weapons storage sites. These upgrades aim to further secure the premises against possible thefts and illicit proliferation of the stored weapons and ammunition. This effort, in full compliance with the OSCE Handbook of Best Practices on SALW, will not only result in the upgrading of BiH prospective ammunition and weapons storage sites but will also contribute to establishment of sustainable national Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) standards, thus strengthening the long-term national capacity to manage stockpiles of Small Arms and Light Weapons and Conventional Ammunition.

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