Republic of Moldova’s efforts in managing small arms and light weapons and conventional ammunition debated at Forum for Security Co-operation
VIENNA, 29 March 2017 – Republic of Moldova’s progress in the field of small arms and light weapons management should be used to move the process further by focusing on new priorities in this area and improving compliance with international standards and commitments, say speakers in the session of the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) held on 29 March in Vienna.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Cristian Istrate of Romania, the Chairperson of the FSC, referred to the relevant OSCE projects in the Republic of Moldova as contributing to a safer environment and the security and safety of the civilian population.
Lieutenant-Colonel Andrei Camerzan, General Staff of Moldova’s National Army, said that his country’s government is committed to ensuring a comprehensive control of small arms and light weapons (SALW) and conventional ammunition (CA). In this regard he noted the adoption of the National Army Action Plan for 2017-2020, which establishes new priorities including explosive risk mitigation, professional training and safety in ammunition storage areas.
Camerzan also stressed the importance of working together with international organizations, saying that the Moldovan Defence Ministry’s co-operation with international donors is “a guarantee of success for SALW/CA assistance projects”.
Lajos Karakas, Politico-Military Officer at the OSCE Mission to Moldova, said that ongoing OSCE-supported projects aim to enhance the safety and security of storage sites as well as the disposal of obsolete ammunition, thus contributing to stability in Moldova and in the region. “This will help to reduce risks related to SALW and ammunition and help to prevent their proliferation and misuse.”
He also stressed the significance of including risk mitigation into the National Army Action Plan. He explained that this was made possible following Moldovan government’s decision to embark on work in this area together with the OSCE, supported by Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Karakas explained that an important part of this work is training the ministry’s specialists in the chemical analysis of propellants, enabling them to carry out inspections to determine the safe storage life of munitions and reduce the risk of unwanted explosions.
The OSCE Mission to Moldova has been supporting the Ministry of Defence in the management of small arms and light weapons since 2006. With the Mission’s support, more than 10.400 square metres of storage space have been upgraded to improve storage conditions.
As for Moldova’s wider efforts in managing small arms and light weapons and conventional ammunition, a total of 1,700 tonnes of ammunition, such as bombs, grenades, aviation rockets have been disposed of between 2014 and 2016. The country operates five SALW/CA storage sites.