12 June 2013

Nuclear disarmament panorama: an assessment

by Sergio Duarte

A familiar pattern seen in multilateral disarmament efforts, prevalent since the mid 1990s, also seems to have established itself in the review process of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Commenting on the result of the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the NPT 2015 Review Conference, last May, an assiduous and perceptive observer wrote: “This is a typical outcome of NPT meetings, because the review cycle is a process that favors the status quo by pit­ting possible forward momentum against maintaining the ‘stability’ of the ‘regime’. But this status quo is seen as increasingly untenable to the majority of states parties”. A similar assessment can be made about the multilateral nuclear disarmament process as a whole. 


21 April 2013

UN Disarmament Commission concludes without consensus recommendations

by Katherine Prizeman, Global Action to Prevent War

The UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC) concluded the second year in its three-year cycle on Friday, 19 April. Much of the discourse during the concluding plenary had a positive tone, with delegations noting that the work done in the 2013 substantive session will “set the stage” for progress next year. In his concluding remarks, Chair Ambassador Christopher Grima of Malta called the three-week session “productive” and rich in discussion. Still, it is discouraging that the session could not come to more concrete conclusions.

20 April 2013

Memory lane

by Dr. Robert Zuber, Global Action to Prevent War
Among the proposals emerging from this year's session of the UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC), there were two that particularly caught our eye. The Swiss proposals presented during the opening exchange of views calling for more involvement by experts in the work of the UNDC is one that Global Action to Prevent War and Armed Conflict (GAPW) has discussed in other commentary and fully supports in practice.


10 April 2013

Building blocks

by Dr. Robert Zuber, Global Action to Prevent War

The general exchange of views at this years’ UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC) put on display a mixture of post-Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) negotiating fatigue, a bit of bellicose rhetoric, and a certain resignation that outcomes for this year’s substantive session were unlikely to be more noteworthy than previous years.


04 April 2013

Opening of the 2013 session of the UN Disarmament Commission: Time for substantive recommendations

by Katherine Prizeman, Global Action to Prevent War

On Monday, the UN Disarmament Commission (UNDC) opened its annual substantive session. The forum, which enjoys universal membership and is often referred to as the UN’s “disarmament think tank,” is surrounded by much anxiety about its ability to garner a consensus outcome before the end of its three-week session.


08 October 2012

Direct action at First Committee

by Ray Acheson, Reaching Critical Will of WILPF

First Committee is set to begin once again in the midst of dynamic and dangerous times. The relevance of its mandate, disarmament and international security, is as pressing as ever. Looking around the world today one can see mounting regional and international tensions, civil wars and revolutions, increasing armed violence, and, overshadowing us all, the threat of nuclear weapons. High levels of military spending, weapons production, trade, and stockpiling, and armed conflict undermine the key objective of the United Nations: preserving international peace and security. Yet one can also see many examples of ordinary people trying to rein back the violence, overcome militarism, and achieve peace.

Reflections on the UN General Assembly general debate 2012

by Ray Acheson, Reaching Critical Will of WILPF

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held its general debate from 25 September–1 October. The theme for this year’s debate, set by UNGA President Vuk Jeremić of Serbia, was “adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means”. In his open remarks he specified, “A solution to an international problem can be legitimately achieved only upon renunciation of unilateralism; it can become truly sustainable only when its provisions are willingly accepted and fulfilled in good faith.”