Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Smart Technology in SALW Control

On behalf of the German Foreign Office, BICC will organize an international conference from 17 to 18 June 2013 in Berlin, entitled “Smart Technology in SALW Control: Civilian Protection, the UN-Programme of Action, and Transfer Control”.

Electronic devices could enhance substantially the safety and security of firearms. Devices designed to constrain the use of a weapon to the legitimate user, to prevent the use in certain areas, to disable a firearm via remote control, or to record and monitor its use are either already available or technologically feasible. Such smart technologies could contribute substantially to combating the illicit use of firearms, stopping diversion of weapons into the illicit sector, avoiding accidents, or impeding suicides. However, although we recognize the improvements to safety by electronics in many other contexts, including cars, aircraft or machinery, the use of smart technology in firearms remains, so far, very limited.

To enhance the debate, the German Foreign Office is planning a conference on the potential of smart technology for the control of small arms and light weapons (SALW). While safety issues (e.g. avoidance of accidents) will play a role, a focus will lie on the potential of smart technology for security and development, including combating diversion, improving PSSM (Physical Security and Stockpile Management), supporting export controls, fighting terrorism and organized crime. 

Issues to be discussed include

  • Background and statistics
  • Technology
  • Combating corruption
  • Improving PSSM
  • Securing weapons of particular security sensitivity, such as MANPADS
  • Post-conflict contexts / contexts of high and organized crime
  • Monitoring export controls
  • Legislation enabling smart technology (on a national/ international level).