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 […]

Incendiary weapons condemned again

More than a dozen states have called for international law on incendiary weapons to be reviewed and strengthened in light of civilian casualties, particularly in Syria. Despite these statements and letters, no concrete action has been undertaken yet to address incendiary weapons concerns beyond condemning their use.

[…]

Outrage at Syria’s incendiary weapons use

Since 2010, Human Rights Watch has been calling on governments to review the 30-year-old international protocol on incendiary weapons to better protect civilians, but its message sharpened considerably ahead of the annual meetings of the Convention on Conventional Weapons held at the United Nations in Geneva on 14-15 November 2013. “Where’s the outcry?” the […]

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 […]

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 […]

From napalm to white phosphorus

The photo of the naked, crying little girl is unforgettable. On 8 June 1972, Nick Ut of Associated Press photographed nine-year-old Kim Phuc running down a road in Vietnam after an air strike on her village using incendiary weapons. According to AP, the naked sticky napalm had “melted through her clothes and layers of […]