Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Interactive guide on small arms and light weapons now online

In close cooperation with the Bundeswehr Verification Center (ZVBw), BICC (Bonn International Center for Conversion) has developed an online small arms and light weapons guide. The Guide is available via The application is based on the printed SALW Guide by the ZVBw and complements it with a WebGIS mapping component. The online SALW Guide is financially supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.

The SALW Guide contains technical details on individual types of weapons, their different versions, and their proliferation. Interested parties will be able to retrieve information that could be decisive for many arms control procedures and projects, including photos of weapons, detailed photos of differentiating criteria as well as photos and sketches of the markings, used by producers and countries of origin, and their position on the weapon. The database also provides information on SALW ammunition. Besides that it answers questions such as: What types of small arms and light weapons are to be found in which countries and where they are produced?

Wolfgang Bindseil, Deputy Head of Division Coventional Arms Control at the German Foreign Office points out: “In future, not only the authorities in affected countries but also journalists, researchers or those affected by the misuse of SALW can learn about the respective proliferation of SALW and obtain support in identifying small arms. We thus hope to be able to effectively contribute to small arms control.”

The database has a wide range of potential uses—from helping to prepare missions involving soldiers or arms control officers in post-conflict countries to determining small weapons ‘in the field’ or training up-and-coming disarmament experts. The Guide is not only aimed at arms control and disarmament experts but also at supporting people in the fields of politics, research and NGOs in their efforts to prevent, combat and eliminate the illicit trade in SALW. 

View the information of the German Foreign Office „Better control over small arms and light weapons” at: