Press Statement

Maastricht, The Netherlands
December 1, 2003


OSCE Document Foresees Action Against Risks of Ammunition Stockpiles

Released by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Forum for Security Co-operation

MAASTRICHT, 1 December 2003 - The Foreign Ministers of the 55 OSCE states today endorsed a new OSCE Document dealing with risks arising from surplus stockpiles of conventional ammunition, explosive material and detonating devices.

The OSCE Document on Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition complements the OSCE Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons adopted in November 2000.

The new agreement encompasses all categories of conventional ammunition, explosive material and detonating devices, including heavy weapons ammunition, all types of mines, missiles and rocket fuel, grenades, fuses.

As with the Small Arms and Light Weapons Document, the OSCE intends to disseminate this new politically binding instrument as broadly as possible, as it sets an example of what is useful and achievable at a regional level to enhance security, transparency and solidarity.

It is also intended to tackle stock surpluses that can cause a risk to security, including environmental problems and hazards to populations.

The document could serve as a valuable reference and tool for other organizations, including the United Nations. It will be disseminated to the OSCE's Partners for Co-operation, which include Afghanistan, Japan, The Republic of Korea and Thailand, as well as to the Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.

Experience gained in ammunition destruction, stockpiles management and security will be used to develop a Best Practice Guide, similar to the one on small arms and light weapons, which was presented today in Maastricht.

The new instrument provides practical procedures for the destruction of these stockpiles, upgrading stockpile management and security measures, which will be voluntary, transparent, complementary and sustainable.

Detailed information on these principles can be found in a special feature story on the OSCE website [www.osce.org].

Richard Murphy, Spokesperson/Head of Press and Public Information, Press and Public Information Section, OSCE Secretariat, Kaerntner Ring 5-7 1010, Vienna, Austria. Tel.: +43 1 514 36 180, +43 664 548 53 89 (mobile). Fax: +43 1 514 36 105. E-mail: [email protected]

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Released on December 3, 2003