Pilar Reina

Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer at CCSI-UK

Pilar is an International Weapons and Ammunition Research Expert with over twelve years of experience in this field. She has research, policy and field experience across several regions including West Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, the Caucasus and different parts of Asia, including China. Pilar has worked with governments, practitioners and numerous United Nations agencies and international organisations to address security risks posed by weapons and ammunition stockpiles.

Pilar recently led implementation of the African-China-Europe Project on Arms in Africa, successfully advocating for the return of conventional small arms and ammunition control to the agenda of FOCAC (Forum of China and Africa Cooperation) and its inclusion in the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035 agenda.
Pilar previously served at the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) as Technical Advisor on small arms and light weapons for West Africa and the Sahel, and worked together with national governments and sub-regional organisations to garner political commitment and coordinated efforts to work on implementing Physical Security and Stockpiles Management best practices on the ground.

Prior to that, Pilar worked for the Small Arms Survey where she developed and helped guide a research project on Unplanned Explosions and Munitions Sites. She co-authored the “UEMS: Stockpiles as Liabilities rather Assets” handbook and the UEMS database created through the project continues to serve as an important resource for governments and international organisations. The UEMS indicator helped galvanise international efforts to implement the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines (IATG) as well as efforts by the United Nations Office for Disarmament (UNOD) in creating a group of experts to create a comprehensive framework to prevent accidents at munition sites and munition diversions to unauthorized recipients.

Pilar has also worked as an independent consultant with governments and international organisations promoting conventional weapons and ammunition control management. As such, she has provided expert advice in the framework of relevant multilateral, bilateral and regional programs of the United Nations, as an Expert Member of the UN SaferGuard Strategic Coordination Group meeting which reviews the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines annually; and for the European Union, as a contributing member of the Arms Trade Treaty outreach project phase I and II.

A native of Colombia, Pilar’s upbringing was marked by witnessing the intensity of Colombia’s armed conflict of the 1990’s. In 1998, aged 17, she was successful in joining the Colombian Air Force as one of the first batch of women cadet officers and future pilot trainees. She went on to study Government and International Relations at the University of Externado, that she completed at Sciences Po, Bordeaux, France. Pilar has a Masters in Public Management (2010) and in Political Science (2013) from the University of Geneva, both with a focus on international security issues.

Pilar is a native Spanish speaker and is fluent in French and English. She also has knowledge of German and Italian.

Selected Publications

Pilar Reina and Bernardo Mariani (Editors). 2020. Tackling the illicit trade and diversion of arms and ammunition into and within Africa: the role of China-Africa cooperation. Briefing Paper. London: Saferworld, November (also available in English and mandarin). Also see: 2021. Executive Summary, available in Arabic, English, French and Mandarin, January.

Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD). 2018. Contributed to: Towards security, peace and sustainable development: The state of play in safe and secure management of ammunition. Report commissioned by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Geneva: GICHD, February, available in Arabic, Russian and French, May.

Pilar Reina and Eric Berman (Editors). 2014 Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites: Excess Stockpiles as Liabilities rather than Assets. Handbook. Geneva: Small Arms Survey, June.