OSCE Mission supports Moldovan Defence Ministry’s first conference on small arms, light weapons and conventional ammunition safety and stockpiles management
Some 60 high-level officials, including parliamentarians, governmental officials and members of international and non-governmental organizations attended the first-ever high-level conference organized by Moldova’s Ministry of Defence on small arms, light weapons and conventional ammunition safety and stockpiles management. The conference on 16 February 2017 was held with the support of the OSCE Mission.
The conference reviewed the progress made by Moldova’s Armed Forces on the disposal of obsolete ammunition, security upgrades of ammunition depots, and in training staff on handling ammunition.
The conference concluded that while the Armed Forces have made significant progress in recent years, there is still work to be done to ensure compliance with international standards and commitments. In light of this the Ministry of Defence emphasized the need for efforts to mitigate the risk of uncontrolled explosions. International partners expressed their readiness to continue supporting the Armed Forces in this endeavour.
“The conference is a good opportunity to establish new priorities in the field of Small Arms and Light Weapons management, especially regarding storage, handling and utilization of expired munitions,” said Stephen Young, Deputy Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova. “The Mission will continue to support the Ministry of Defence and the Republic of Moldova in their efforts to fulfil their international and national commitments and responsibilities in this area.”
The Mission has been supporting the Ministry of Defence in the area of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) since 2006.
In 2016, multiple storage facilities were renovated and security and surveillance systems were installed. The Mission also facilitated training for 71 Moldovan officers on Physical Security Stockpile Management by instructors from Austria, Canada, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland.