The safe and secure management of arms and ammunition is a cornerstone of arms control, and the international community has made significant efforts to encourage, instruct, and improve national practices. A strong normative and technical framework guides this global effort.

The UN Programme of Action solidified stockpile management as a critical component to diversion prevention, and that recognition expanded in the normative framework and operational guidance developed in numerous regional instruments (such as the Nairobi Protocol, ECOWAS Convention and the Arms Trade Treaty). The operationalizing of stockpile management guidance includes the development of technical guidelines that provide states with specific targets.

The International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG) and Modular Small Arms International Compendium (MOSAIC) outline good practices and provide detailed frameworks of arms and ammunition management systems.

Many states have responded and taken national ownership of their responsibilities to reduce the risk of diversion and accidental explosions from their stockpiles.  While these mechanisms allow practitioners to achieve broadly recognised high levels of safe and secure management practices, there is currently no means for a state to demonstrate the effective implementation of these good practices. The AAMVS aims to fill this gap.

To achieve this, the European Union supports exploring a validation system for arms and ammunition management.  The EU’s 7 July Council Decision CFSP 2020/979 proposes the development of a validation system that could support multiple areas of arms control.