Poor management of government stockpiles of small arms and ammunition poses significant safety and security concerns—both for the country in question and often for its neighbors. Challenges to safety are readily apparent by the frequent occurrence and consequences of unplanned explosions at munitions sites (UEMS). Security shortcomings include oversight limitations that facilitate corrupt practices and seizures of state materiel by armed groups that undercut a state’s legitimate use of force, and undermine good governance and the rule of law.

The Small Arms Survey (hereafter referred to as the Survey) actively contributes to efforts to promote physical security and stockpile management (PSSM) and life-cycle management of ammunition (LCMA), and works with—and benefits from—practitioners and policy makers focusing on these agendas.The development of the Survey’s UEMS-related research, for example, was made possible in large part by the active engagement of the Multinational Small Arms and Ammunition Group (MSAG) and the financial support of the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA). The Survey also works closely with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) in support of the Swiss Safe and Secure Management of Ammunition (SSMA) Initiative and other joint efforts, such as the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affair’s (UNODA's) SaferGuard program to promote the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG). Survey databases and tools are frequently used to develop national capacities and to raise awareness among decision makers on the importance of adequately funding and meaningfully improving PSSM and LCMA practices.



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