South-east European Surplus Arms: State Policies and Practices
With the decline in tensions in South-east Europe, and with the transition to NATO weaponry, many states are left with stockpiles of surplus small arms and ammunition.
Recognizing the need to manage these stockpiles, countries in the region have sought to participate in collaborative programmes with other states. The United States has supported a Regional Approach to Stockpile Reduction (RASR) Initiative to assist nine countries in South-east Europe to better manage their stockpiles, including through destruction where appropriate.
This Issue Brief profiles the policies and procedures put in place by the South-east European countries operating within the RASR Initiative. It reviews the international and regional political frameworks for addressing surplus, examines available policy options, and provides an overview of each country's treatment of its national stockpiles.
This study underscores the political will of South-east European states to address the problem of surplus weapons and ammunition within their boundaries. It finds that surplus destruction is not the favoured policy option among South-east European countries and that in most cases the preferred method for disposal is through sale. These findings are likely to apply to other regions.
The Issue Brief was launched on 4 November 2010 at the Third RASR Workshop in Sarajevo, along with the launch of a redesigned website for the Initiative: www.rasrinitiative.org
A set of Physical Security and Stockpile Management ID cards has also been developed as a tool to aid in familiarizing personnel with stockpile management issues and best practice.