GEILENKIRCHEN, GERMANY — The Multinational Small Arms and Ammunition Group (MSAG) is an apolitical, informal, multinational platform of Armed Forces Verification Centres from OSCE countries that exchange best practices and coordinate international assistance in the area of conventional arms and ammunition management.
On May 7-9, under the umbrella of MSAG, the Verification Centre of the German Armed Forces hosted armed forces verification officers from Austria, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland for a workshop to test the ISACS Assessment tool under operational conditions. The workshop was jointly organized by the Bundeswehr Verification Center and the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).
The Assessment Tool, developed by UNIDIR, allows its users to measure existing small arms and light weapons controls against international standards and quickly and easily identify priority areas for improvement.
After being trained on how to use the ISACS Assessment Tool, MSAG verification officers used it to conduct an assessment of two arms and ammunition storage sites that had been prepared to reflect different levels of compliance with international standards.
Workshop participants complimented the user-friendliness of the ISACS Assessment Tool, but were most impressed by its ability to analyse complex data, identify priority areas for improvement, and generate reports. Participants also identified ways in which the tool could be further improved. An exit survey conducted by UNIDIR found that all participants were “likely to use” or “certain to use” the ISACS Assessment Tool in their ongoing work on stockpile management.
The main outcome of the testing workshop will be a recommendation to the MSAG Symposium to be held in Vienna on May 12-16 that MSAG States should adopt the ISACS Assessment Tool for use in assessment visits to arms storage facilities in countries where MSAG is helping to build capacity in arms and ammunition management.