DDR practitioners and WAM experts join interactive training course on Effective Weapons and Ammunition Management in Ghana

October 18th, 2023

From 2 to 6 October, the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) and the Office for Disarmament Affairs, in collaboration with the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA), and the Ammunition Management Advisory Team (AMAT), successfully organized the 2023 edition of the training course on “Effective Weapons and Ammunition Management (WAM) in a changing Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) context”.

DDR practitioners and WAM experts during training course on Effective Weapons and Ammunition Management

Hosted at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra, Ghana, this annual event plays a pivotal role in equipping DDR practitioners with the knowledge and skills necessary for designing, planning, and implementing tailored, safe, and secure disarmament operations and transitional WAM initiatives within the ever-evolving landscape of DDR settings.

Bringing together 13 dedicated DDR practitioners, and WAM experts (6 women and 7 men), from peacekeeping operations, special political missions, international and regional organizations, and non-governmental organizations, this year’s training facilitated a rich exchange of insights into international and regional arms control instruments, WAM standards and guidelines, and the latest developments in the UN’s approach to DDR based on a practical handbook on WAM for DDR practitioners.

The curriculum also encompassed the integration of WAM into community violence reduction programming and transitional security arrangements. Safety in handling weapons and ammunition took center stage, featuring a disarmament simulation and expert-led demonstrations, with the Ghana Army Combat Training School playing a pivotal role in imparting hands-on knowledge of safe handling, storage, and destruction techniques.  

This training course is an opportunity for DDR practitioners and WAM experts to connect, network and share experiences, advice, and guidance throughout the training and through a dedicated online Community of Practice (COP). It is part of a larger initiative led by DPO/DDR Section and ODA/Conventional Arms Branch (CAB) funded by the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) and Switzerland. It provides expert resources, guidance, training, and technical assistance to address the destabilizing accumulation, widespread proliferation and misuse of weapons and ammunition in conflict and armed violence setting.

Participants praised the quality and methodology of the training, describing it as “dynamic and interactive.” Its significance was also underscored, with one participant emphasizing that all DDR practitioners should undergo this programme, given the increasing importance of WAM in integrated DDR processes.