An Overview of the EU ASAC Project
EU ASAC (European Union Assistance on Curbing Small Arms and light weapons in Cambodia) was set up under European Union Council Decision 1999/730/CFSP of 15 November 1999 and started operations in April 2000. For more than six years EU ASAC assisted the Royal Cambodian Government by:
- strengthening the legal framework by assisting in the development of a new Law on Weapons and Ammunition (see Arms Law);
- stimulating the voluntary handover of weapons illegally held by the civilian population through weapons for development projects (see Voluntary Weapons Collection);
- registering and securely storing all the Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) of the Ministry of National Defence (see Registration and Safe Storage);
- destroying illegal and surplus weapons in public Flames of Peace ceremonies (see Weapons Destructions); and
- stimulating public awareness on the dangers of SALW in the country (see Public Awareness).
By 30 June 2006 EU ASAC had achieved all the goals laid out in Council Decision 1999/730/CFSP and was credited with assisting to make Cambodia a safer country. Therefore all project activities were ended on 30 June 2006 and the project was closed.
Even though the EU ASAC project closed in June 2006, this website has been structured to give an insight into the methodology, operations and achievements of EU ASAC in its six years of activities. In this way the unique EU ASAC documentation remains available to a wide audience. Most of the web pages were written during the period of EU ASAC's operations and therefore reflect the positions taken by the project at the time of writing (see particularly Articles and Reports and Speeches).
Evaluation of EU ASAC activities 2000 - 2006
In May and June 2006 a full external evaluation of EU ASAC was carried out at the instruction of the European Commission. The report of the evaluation is available by following this link (PDF 1.62 MB). The detailed Evaluation Report summarises the methodology and the achievements of EU ASAC and makes recommendations based on the Lessons Learned from the project. As such it is an important statement on EU ASAC as a major SALW field project carried out for over six years. The evaluators also undertook field research speaking to communities where EU ASAC had worked. The findings are laid out in a separate Confirmatory SALW Perception Survey (PDF 739 KB).
EU ASAC helped destroy over 142,000 weapons in Cambodia
The Cambodian Government began destroying surplus and illegal weapons in May 1999. In April 2001 EU ASAC started giving financial and technical assistance to enable the policy of destroying weapons to be continued through public Flames of Peace ceremonies. In all EU ASAC assisted in the destruction of over 142,000 weapons. The Cambodian Government marked the official ending of the co-operation with EU ASAC with a National Flame of Peace ceremony in Kandal Province on 20 June 2006. Prime Minister Hun Sen presided and over 10,000 people attended the ceremony. As at 30 June 2006 over 198,000 weapons had been destroyed by the Cambodian Government since the first ceremony in May 1999. For details of all the destruction ceremonies see Destruction Table.
EU ASAC Facilitated the Implementation of the Arms Law
Following the adoption of the Law of the Management of Weapons, Explosives and Ammunition (PDF, 47k) by the National Assembly on 26 April 2005, EU ASAC liaised closely with the Cambodian Government to make the implementation of the law as effective as possible. In 2005 EU ASAC assisted the Cambodian Government to print 120,000 copies of the new law. These were widely distributed to officials in the 1,621 Communes in the country as well as to members of the National Police and Armed Forces. Between March and May 2006 a series of six one-day training courses in the implications of the Arms Law for the Cambodian Armed Forces was organised by the Ministry of National Defence. Over seven hundred military officers attended these training courses. In June 2006 2,000 copies of the new law were given to the Ministry of Justice for distribution to National, Provincial and District court officials involved in implementing the law.
Presentation on Weapons Registration & Safe Storage
A special presentation (both in English and French) on EU ASAC's Weapons Registration and Safe Storage Project is available on this website. A photo-filled presentation (.pdf) giving details of the preparation, implementation and achievements of EU ASAC's co-operation with the Ministry of National Defence can be referenced at Registration and Safe Storage presentation (English, 3.2Mb) or Présentation d'Enregistrement et Stockage (French, 3.2Mb)
Awards to EU ASAC and EU ASAC staff
To honour the achievements of EU ASAC and the work of the EU ASAC staff, at the closing Flame of Peace ceremony in Kandal on 20 June 2006, Prime Minister Hun Sen granted EU ASAC as an institution the award of Grand Commander of the Medal of Sahametrei (Co-operation). Earlier in 2006, at a Weapons Destruction ceremony in Siem Reap, the Minister of Defence on behalf of the Prime Minister installed the EU ASAC Project Manager, David de Beer, as Commander of the Medal of Sahametrei (Co-operation), while the Weapons Destruction Project Officer, Adrian Sprangemeijer, was installed as Officer of the Medal of Sahametrei. See page 42 of the Evaluation Report for a full list of awards to EU ASAC staff. The complete List of Staff who worked for EU ASAC between 2000 and 2006 is also on the website.