Key Developments in Humanitarian Disarmament: New Reports, Resources, and Ratifications

Lan Mei, Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative

Reaching Critical Will launches Gender and Disarmament Database.
Credit: Reaching Critical Will, 2020

January can be a slow month as everyone engages in planning for the upcoming year; however, the news indicates that 2020 is already off to a busy start in the disarmament world. In case you missed it:

  • The Action on Armed Violence report on explosive weapons use in 2019 provides timely data that reinforces the urgency of progress at the next round of consultations on a new political declaration on the use of explosive weapons. The data shows that, for the ninth consecutive year, more than 90 percent of those killed and injured when explosive weapons were used in populated areas were civilians. It also shows that although the global number of casualties is declining, there are increases in some countries.
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) released the results of a survey of millennial views on war and armed conflict on January 16. The ICRC surveyed 16,000 millennials from 16 countries and territories. The results reveal that, with some differences from country to country, overall, the majority of millennials surveyed believe that the use of nuclear weapons, biological weapons, chemical weapons, antipersonnel landmines, and cluster bombs is never acceptable in armed conflict.
  • On January 23, Paraguay became the 35th state to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, meaning only 15 additional ratifications are needed to bring the treaty into force.
  • On January 27, São Tomé and Príncipe became the 108th state party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, bringing the convention one step closer to universalization. 
  • Reaching Critical Will has launched a new Gender and Disarmament Database to share resources about gender aspects in disarmament work, such as gender-based violence, gender norms, and gender diversity. The sources in the searchable database range from podcasts to academic articles to advocacy reports to policy documents and more.

February promises to be an even busier month, with the first preparatory meetings for the Arms Trade Treaty’s Sixth Conference of States Parties, consultations in Geneva on the explosive weapons in populated areas declaration, and campaigners meetings on nuclear weapons in Paris and killer robots in Buenos Aires. 

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