International Consultant – PSSM of SALW and CA and EOD practices, Vienna At Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

Closing date: Tuesday, 30 May 2023


Please note that this is a consultancy assignment of a temporary nature, with an expected duration of up to 144 working days per calendar year. Work location: home-based and field work. Travel within the OSCE region.

The OSCE has a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects. It therefore addresses a wide range of security-related concerns, including arms control, confidence- and security-building measures, human rights, national minorities, democratization, policing strategies, counter-terrorism and economic and environmental activities. All 57 participating States enjoy equal status, and decisions are taken by consensus on a politically, but not legally binding basis.

The OSCE Secretariat in Vienna assists the OSCE decision-making bodies in its activities, and provides operational and administrative support to the field operations, and, as appropriate, to other institutions.

The Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) is an autonomous OSCE decision-making body that deals with military aspects of security. The FSC Support Unit co-ordinates and facilitates the OSCE’s role in the politico-military dimension. The primary task of the Unit is to provide expertise and support to the FSC. The Unit initiates, develops, implements technical assistance projects in the field of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition (SCA), including the implementation of a wide range of PSSM and EOD practices. The amount of Unit’s workload, as well as the need for technical expertise under specific assistance projects, including those delegated for implementation to the Field Operations, require relying on additional technical capacity hired through consultancy.

Maintaining small arms and ammunition safely and securely is of vital importance, and ensure both the internal, as well as the external safety and stability within the OSCE region and beyond. Mismanaged or unstable stockpiles can potentially have serious consequences. Old or unstable ammunition if spontaneously combusted, can destroy entire stockpiles, while inflicting casualties on civilians and non-civilians, and damaging nearby buildings and infrastructure. Furthermore, weapons and ammunition stolen from storage depots can create an environment ripe for direct, indirect and deliberate co-operation between trafficking organizations, transnational criminal groups, violent extremist groups and terrorists.

The internal environmental conditions can affect the stored explosive ordnance. This goes beyond merely relying on the expiry date as an indicator of the condition of the stock, as shelf life is only one indicator of possibly defective ammunition. The risk and threat assessments are made by calculating the range of risks and threats, the probability of their occurrence, and their potential impact on the items stored, the storage facilities, the hired personnel, and the property, populations, and environment that would be affected. Risks are also associated with retaining surplus stocks, as time increases the possibility of both accidental explosions and diversion (theft). These threats can have both financial and political consequences for the responsible entities. Therefore, not only immediate issues should be considered, but also possible future events. On the other hand, the skills, knowledge, and technology needed to implement these assessments are not quickly acquired by or readily available in all pS.

A number of regional, multinational and even international frameworks, have consistently stated a preference for destruction of surplus stockpiles. The planning of these types of intervention should incorporate holistic, phased, practical, and coordinated approaches, all of which are vital, given the multifaceted nature of PSSM interventions.

The role of international bodies such as the OSCE is to encourage and enable a more coherent solution by aligning the national stockpile management strategies with the existing OSCE and international stockpile management standards and best practices. In response to the gap between potential threats of unmanaged stockpiles within the OSCE region and pS capacity to manage them successfully throughout their life cycle, the OSCE developed set of activities in support of creating the national capabilities for handling of surpluses of SALW and CA. This would be done through enhancing of the national legal framework on PSSM, whilst building capacity and improving capability of national authorities on managing, securing, record-keeping and traceability of SALW and CA. Additionally, the OSCE will address the pS requests for assistance related to the improvement of infrastructure capacities pertaining to safe and secure storage of SALW and CA, as well as demilitarization and stockpile surplus disposal.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

The consultants/experts would be hired through the FSC Support Unit and/or OSCE FOs, within the following clusters of tasks that will be further specified in the additional Terms of Reference, including maximum number of days per task. The consultants/experts must submit a report each time a given task is completed and delivered.

  •  Providing analysis, strategic and operational support and/or technical advisory on PSSM and EOD practices related to stockpile and life-management of SALW, CA and explosives by strengthening the life-management capacity through review of existing legislation and elaborating recommendations for improvement, considering the OSCE best practices and international standards;
  •  Providing expertise and enhancing the host authorities capacities and capabilities in the risk assessment and determine the safe storage life of ammunition and reduce the risk of unplanned explosions;
  •  Providing expertise on and developing of the marking and record keeping instruments/tools for weapons and ammunition;
  •  Providing expertise in support of building of the capacities of responsible personnel in PSSM and EOD practices, through development and provision of a relevant training system;
  •  Examining and utilizing lessons learned to further develop and improve PSSM and EOD policies and regulations at the institutional level;
  •  Providing expertise and technical support related to stockpile infrastructure construction/upgrades;
  •  Providing expertise and technical support for CA disposal and EOD response management and operations capability of host authorities.

Necessary Qualifications:

  •  Minimum first level university degree in security/defense studies, military and law enforcement education (on equal level), or similar field;
  •  Minimum eight (8) years of professional experience at the national and international level, including progressively responsible experience in technical assistance and subject matter activities on national and international levels ranging from managerial, legal, operational management to technical advisory support and planning and implementation of training/capacity building;
  •  Knowledge and understanding of standard PSSM and EOD policies and practices in politico-military dimension, as well as practical experience in their implementation;
  •  Knowledge and skills in the domain of quality management applicable to international technical assistance projects in the field of PSSM and EOD;
  •  Professional fluency in English with excellent written/spoken communication skills; knowledge of other OSCE languages would be an asset;
  •  Ability and willingness to work as a member of team, with people of different cultural, and religious backgrounds, different gender, and diverse political views, while maintaining impartiality and objectivity;
  •  Computer literate with practical experience using Microsoft applications.

Remuneration Package:

Remuneration will be based on the selected consultant’s/expert’s qualifications, experience, the tasks and deliverables for this position and in accordance with the OSCE established rates.

If you wish to apply for this position, please use the OSCE’s online application link found under

The OSCE retains the discretion to re-advertise/re-post the vacancy, to cancel the recruitment or to offer an appointment with a modified job description or for a different duration.

Only those candidates who are selected to participate in the subsequent stages of recruitment will be contacted.

The OSCE is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all religious, ethnic and social backgrounds to apply to become a part of the Organization.

Candidates should be aware that OSCE officials shall conduct themselves at all times in a manner befitting the status of an international civil servant. This includes avoiding any action which may adversely reflect on the integrity, independence and impartiality of their position and function as officials of the OSCE. The OSCE is committed to applying the highest ethical standards in carrying out its mandate. For more information on the values set out in OSCE Competency Model, please see

Please be aware that the OSCE does not request payment at any stage of the application and review process.

Additional Information

  •  Issued by: OSCE Secretariat
  •  Requisition ID: SEC000202
  •  Contract Type: Special Service Agreement (SSA) / Consultant
  •  Grade: No grade
  •  Job Type: Consultant
  •  Number of posts: Multiple
  •  Location: SEC – OSCE Secretariat, Vienna
  •  Issue Date: May 3, 2023
  •  Closing Date: May 31, 2023
  •  Education Level: Bachelor’s Degree (First-level university degree or equivalent)
  •  Target Start Date: As soon as possible


July 2024