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18.5.2021 : 9:06 : +0200


Peacekeepers have a critical role to play in efforts to reduce illicit arms flows in the areas of conflict in which they operate. Part of this effort involves ensuring that the weapons that peacekeepers deploy with, as well as those they recover during the course of their duties, are well managed and do not recirculate to unauthorized parties. By addressing illicit arms proliferation, peacekeepers can more effectively achieve their mandates, protect civilians, facilitate humanitarian aid, and enhance security—including their own.

The Small Arms Survey’s Making Peace Operations More Effective (MPOME) project contributes to the reduction of violence and insecurity due to illicit arms proliferation in conflict zones. Towards that end, the project is working to build a collaborative agenda—with the United Nations, regional organizations, and troop- and police-contributing countries (TCCs/PCCs)—to reduce the diversion of arms and ammunition from peace operations. The focus is to improve practices to manage both contingent-owned equipment as well as recovered materiel. Phase 1 of the MPOME project (through March 2019) has worked to:

  • produce cutting-edge, peer-reviewed research on arms management and losses in peace operations and establish the Survey’s Peace Operations Data Set (PODS);

  • assist the African Union to develop and implement a new policy to manage recovered weapons in the peace operations it authorizes;
  • support regional organizations to operationalize existing (but unimplemented) commitments on the management of arms and ammunition in peace operations;
  • consolidate understanding of existing TCC/PCC practices—in particular, good practices—and training needs through a series of regional workshops in partnership with regional organizations that field peace operations and regional training institutions whose mission is to enhance these operation's effectiveness;
  • design training modules for strengthening TCC/PCC practices; and
  • promote a gender perspective in arms control initiatives in peace operations to strengthen the effectiveness of those efforts.

Phase 2 of MPOME (from April 2019) will further strengthen the sustainability of Phase 1 activities and expand the scope of this work by:

  • expanding PODS—including its methodology and web-based interactive map—to enhance the evidence-base for reform efforts, and to help assess the efficacy of improved practice;
  • supporting existing partners and reaching out to new TCCs and PCCs as well as regional organizations authorizing peace operations;
  • developing reform and accountability initiatives in peace operations to enhance performance, with an emphasis on applying a gender lens and promoting the women, peace, and security agenda;
  • delivering the training and capacity-building efforts developed in Phase 1 around arms and ammunition management in peace operations and the evolving legal norms and guidelines of organizations authorizing peace operations;
  • enhancing peacekeepers’ participation in illicit arms flows reduction efforts in conflict zones in line with recent UN directives; and
  • identifying practical measures to strengthen the collection and sharing of information and technical weapons intelligence and analysis in peace operations.