OTTAWA, CANADA — The Strategic Joint Staff of the Canadian Armed Forces hosted the bi-annual sysmposium of the Multinational Small Arms and Ammuniiton Group (MSAG) in Canada’s capital on 18-21 November 2014.
MSAG is an apolitical, informal, multinational platform of Armed Forces Verification Centres (currently drawn from OSCE countries) that exchange best practices and coordinate international assistance on the physical security and stockpile management (PSSM) of conventional arms and ammunition.
Verification officers from 12 countries — Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the USA — participated in the Symposium, alongside technical experts from the United Nations, civil society and the private sector.
The symposium received a briefing on how ISACS is supporting MSAG’s work on PSSM — including support for training military, police and corrections officers from East African States — and the leading role played by MSAG in the development of ISACS through the provision of expert technical advice and, most recently, by putting the ISACS Assessment Tool through a rigorous test before it was finalised.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police distributed copies of the 2014 Firearms Reference Table to symposium participants. This valuable resource, which contains more than 250,000 firearms references and more than 57, 000 firearm images, is also being made available online.
A private company, Camcode Global, briefed the symposium on how its unique identification (UID) marking and recordkeeping solutions, based on technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID) and 2D data matrices, could be deployed to help developing countries leapfrog more traditional marking and recordkeeping practices.
At the end of the Symposium, the MSAG Flame was passed to Norway, who will host the next Symposium in Oslo in June 2015.