Norwegian People’s Aid assists states in the management and safe destruction of ageing, unserviceable, obsolete, or prohibited arms.
Weapons and ammunition that exceed the requirements of the national stockpile and are not properly secured and destroyed, can potentially have fatal consequences for civilians living in close proximity in the instance of an unplanned explosive event. Poor security of stockpiles can also lead to divergence of fire arms and ammunition into illegally armed groups further contributing to insecurity and human suffering.
Globally there is a significant threat to human security for those deemed to be most vulnerable caused by weapons systems designed for war leaking from military storage facilities into the hands of groups seeking to cause instability and profit from human suffering.
Insecure and improper storage of weapons and munitions causes a risk by making them vulnerable to theft by criminals and insurgents. This leads to illicit diversion of legally manufactured weapons to the black market, and can directly hinder peacebuilding efforts, destabilize crisis situations and reignite a conflict.
Through our AMD projects, NPA’s goal is to assist national authorities and security providers with projects aimed at securing national stockpiles of weapons and ammunition and safely destroying the excess of obsolete or hazardous items reducing the threat to civilians.
- Safe destruction of surplus and dangerous explosive ordnance
- Demilitarization of obsolete or seized weapons
- Effective management of Arms stockpiles
NPA’s engagement and approach to Arms Management and Destruction has grown out of the engagement in protecting civilians from explosive weapons and grew out of the negotiations for the CCM and concerns raised about cluster munition stockpile destruction.
NPA’s AMD projects are directly linked to compliance with Article 3 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), which commits all State Parties to destroy or ensure the destruction of all cluster munitions under its jurisdiction.
Early on in the Oslo process to ban cluster munitions, industrial demilitarization processes were touted as the safest and most efficient way to destroy cluster munition stockpiles. We witnessed many states that were concerned the task of destroying its cluster munition stockpiles would be too difficult and too costly. Industrial ammunition destruction is beyond the reach of many countries for a number of reasons such as limited donor funds, lack of industrial capacity, low or not cost-effective industrial destruction capacity for small and unusual stockpiles, or logistical, security or legal challenges with transport of cluster munitions to industrial facilities in foreign countries.
In these cases, a country has no other option but to attempt destruction locally – but expertise and capacity is often lacking. This country has often a clear need for expert-assisted with local self-help options that can deal with smaller stockpiles, unusual ammunition, or ammunition that is in an unstable condition.
During the last 10 years, NPA has assisted 4 countries to declare compliance with their CCM Article 3 Stockpile Destruction obligations:
NPA has also assisted three other countries to make progress towards the destruction of their CM stockpiles in accordance with the CCM:
After completing CM Stockpile Destruction, at least three States have requested additional support for destruction of other surplus or hazardous munitions that lead to additional Physical Security and Stockpile Management activities.
NPA has no intention or capability to compete with the industrial organizations conducting AMD. The global situation indicates that both approaches are needed.
To support compliance with stockpile destruction obligations under Article 3 of the CCM, NPA and partners FENIX Insight launched a global program for Self-Help Ammunition Destruction Options Worldwide. (SHADOW)
The SHADOW process provides technical support through training and management oversite to national authorities working towards treaty compliance. NPA and its partners provide tried and tested processes for demilitarization of weapons systems such as RBK 500 cluster bombs. The processes are designed to reduce the risk of stockpiling these weapon systems and disassemble them in a controlled environment removing the hazardous materials for disposal and recycling the meatal in an environmentally friendly manner.
Between 2010 –19, all parts of the world were affected by Unplanned Explosions at Munition Sites (UEMS). 242 incidents were recorded in the Small Arms Survey’s UEMS database:
- 39 in Africa
- 16 in the Americas
- 116 in Asia
- 70 in Europe
- 1 in Oceania
5 countries accounted for a third of all UEMS incidents:
- The Russian Federation (28)
- Syria (20)
- Iraq (15)
- Ukraine (15)
- Yemen (13)
About 250,000 gun deaths occur annually worldwide. According to a study published by the Journal of the American Medical, almost two-thirds of them are homicides. The study tallied gun deaths in 195 different countries and territories from 1990 to 2016. Researchers counted about 209,000 gun deaths in 1990 compared with 251,000 in 2016, of which
- 64 percent were homicides
- 27 percent were suicides
- 9 percent were accidental