Small arms in the wrong hands destroy lives and livelihoods, impede peace efforts, hinder humanitarian aid, facilitate the illicit trade in narcotics and obstruct investment and development.
In collaboration with partners worldwide, the United Nations has developed International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS) that provide clear, practical and comprehensive guidance to practitioners and policymakers on fundamental aspects of small arms and light weapons control.
The standards are used by the the more than 20 UN entities that make up the UN Coordinating Action on Small Arms (CASA) mechanism in order to ensure that the United Nations as a whole consistently delivers, upon request, the highest quality advice and support to Member States on putting in place effective controls over the full life-cycle of small arms and light weapons.
The standards fit within the global framework created by the UN Programme of Action, the International Tracing Instrument and the UN Firearms Protocol and the Arms Trade Treaty; and build upon best practices elaborated at regional and sub-regional levels.
© UNICEF/NYHQ2001-0093/Stevie Mann
ISACS are maintained and updated by a voluntary global network of experts drawn from the United Nations, governments, international and regional organisations, civil society and the private sector.
ISACS provide guidance on the contol of small arms and light weapons. For guidance related to the control of ammunition and explosives, visit the
UN SaferGuard website to access the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines.
The ISACS initiative gratefully acknowledges financial suport from:
Australian Government - AusAID
Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development Canada
Irish Aid - Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
UN Development Programme (UNDP)
UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA)
UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED)