Humanitarian disarmament in 2016

The host and conveners of the 2016 Humanitarian Disarmament Forum

Five years on, the umbrella term “humanitarian disarmament” is still the appropriate title for the small community of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society groups working to protect civilians and humanity from the harmful effects of indiscriminate weapons and armed violence. This was one […]

A turmultuous yet productive year

2014 delivered increased turmoil resulting in civilian harm, especially in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. From nowhere, a new war began in the east of Ukraine across the border from Russia in which both sides have used explosive weapons in populated areas, including banned cluster munitions as well as Grad rockets, causing hundreds […]

Humanitarian disarmament in 2014

A busy year lies ahead for the community of activist governments, UN agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working to advance humanitarian disarmament. Concerns that the new Year of the Horse will see increasing turmoil look warranted as 2014 opened with armed violence taking lives in Central […]

2013 disarmament committee highlights

A breach of protocol occurred at the United Nations on 21 October, when applause erupted from the civil society gallery high up at the back of the newly renovated meeting room where the General Assembly’s First Committee on Disarmament and International Security was meeting. It came as New Zealand’s Ambassador Dell Higgie read the […]

Busting consensus while staying in the UN

Something remarkable happened at the United Nations in New York on Thursday evening (March 28), when member states failed to adopt a long-sought treaty to regulate the arms trade. Politicians “deplored” the way in which agreement on the Arms Trade Treaty text had been “thwarted” by three of the world’s most abusive regimes: Iran, […]

Advancing humanitarian disarmament in 2013

2013 looks set to be a busy year (as always) for the community of governments and non-state actors seeking to advance humanitarian disarmament, with events including the final Arms Trade Treaty negotiations, a conference to consider the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, and the launch of a new campaign to stop killer robots. They […]

Le désarmement humanitaire en France

On 16 January 2013, representatives of French NGOs working in the field of humanitarian disarmament held a day-long seminar in Paris to discuss on this new approach to international diplomacy and campaigning. Panel discussions looked at lessons learned and challenges ahead, impacts of the campaigns to ban landmines and cluster bombs, and France’s role. […]

Humanitarian Disarmament Campaigns Summit

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, 90 representatives from non-governmental organizations and global coalitions gathered in New York for a Humanitarian Disarmament Campaigns Summit convened by Human Rights Watch. The Summit Communiqué issued by 31 signatories calls for strong disarmament initiatives driven by humanitarian imperatives to […]

A decade on, any action on arms transfers ?

On Monday, disarmament diplomats are convening in the basement of the United Nations in New York to discuss arms transfers for the second time this summer, this time for the Second Review Conference of the 2001 UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and All Its […]

Draft arms trade treaty moves on, but where?

On Friday evening (27 July 2012) at precisely the same time as the spectacle of the Olympics opening ceremony was kicking off in London, across the Atlantic in the basement of the United Nations another spectacle was unfolding as talks aimed at regulating arms transfers collapsed. The president of diplomatic negotiations tasked with concluding […]