Anna Alvazzi del Frate, Small Arms Survey


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"Weapons marking in the RECSA region"
Regional Review Conference on the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development
Antigua, Guatemala | 28-30 April 2014

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Anna Alvazzi del Frate, Small Arms Survey

  1. 1. Weapons marking in the RECSA region Anna Alvazzi del Frate, Small Arms Survey 29 APRIL 2014
  2. 2. SMALL ARMS SURVEY What is Firearms Marking? ■ Purpose – to control diversion by ensuring that all firearms can be uniquely identified and traced to their legal user ■ Marking, record keeping and inter-state cooperation keys to tracing ■ Established in the International Tracing Instrument (ITI) and other regional SALW control regimes
  3. 3. SMALL ARMS SURVEY 2012 • MOVING TARGETS Commitments at the regional level Nairobi Protocol – all countries are members and agree to mark all state-owned firearms Use common weapon marking format Mark all small arms and light weapons (by December 2008) Use common software for national databases
  4. 4. SMALL ARMS SURVEY Regional Marking Program ■ Content of marking established in Nairobi Protocol and NBO Best Practices ■ Markings indicate: State ownership, country and department ownership, unique serial number
  5. 5. SMALL ARMS SURVEY RECSA Marking Project ■ Project provided at least 2 marking machines to each member state, each with a compressor, computer, and generator for mobile marking ■ Machines were moved to weapons holdings around the country for marking ■ Project is about a) setting up marking process, and b) actual marking of firearms ■ Not only marking, but also record-keeping (software for record-keeping to be developed by each country) ■ Role of RECSA Secretariat limited to some parts, other for each state
  6. 6. SMALL ARMS SURVEY Assessment criteria for the marking process
  7. 7. SMALL ARMS SURVEY Findings: Marking ■ States often lack operational funding - Not adequately prepared for mobile marking (logistics) ■ Process slower than anticipated ■ Lack of ownership ■ Different numbers reported from states and RECSA ■ Main objective of marking all small arms by Dec 2008 not met, but significant progress made in number of marked weapons ■ Most marks conform to Best Practices ■ Equipment adequate for accomplishing marking goals, relatively easy to use Positives Negatives
  8. 8. SMALL ARMS SURVEY Findings: Record keeping ■ Most states lack long term solution ■ Many records are not operational (currently lack update mechanisms) ■ Capacity to trace is questionable - Note: RECSA-designed software not examined as not in use at time of research
  9. 9. SMALL ARMS SURVEY Conclusions ■ Funding through project life cycle: 1. Purchasing equipment 2. Marking at central location 3. Traveling further to mark fewer 4. New imports and other markings ■ Long-term electronic database for record-keeping should be paired with information-updating procedures ■ Future external funding linked largely linked to present day successes Resources Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Time
  11. 11. SMALL ARMS SURVEY Questions?