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Disposal of surplus small arms:
A survey of policies and practices in OSCE countries

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Release date: 2003-12

Recent efforts by the OSCE in developing their ‘Best Practice Guides’, and SEESAC in the development of Regional Micro-Disarmament Standards (RMDS), now means that national governments and international organisations have both strategic guidelines and operational procedures available to them for use during the development of SALW control intervention programmes. This has been a major step forward during the last year, as previously there was little available to stakeholders to assist them in the development of safe, efficient and effective programmes. The OSCE Guidelines and RMDS both draw on the lessons learned in the recent past, many of which have been obtained from the case studies contained within this research report.
The report highlights in more detail some of the lessons that can be learned from governments’ experiences in this field. Thus it is hoped that it will stimulate, and contribute to, political debate on the best way of dealing with surplus SALW. The selected case studies reflect the wide spectrum of progress made in dealing with the problem of surplus SALW; some represent the best in implementation practices, whilst others illustrate the very real problems of security, safety, technology and resource mobilisation that other countries face in implementing programmes. Time and space precluded including all OSCE countries.