Over its history QUNO has focused much of its peace-related effort on fostering disarmament negotiations at the UN, for example on chemical and nuclear weapons.
By the mid-1990s QUNO also recognised that tremendous damage to communities and societies was being done by conventional weapons, particularly small arms and landmines, and worked to raise awareness of this problem and seek effective ways to tackle it at international level.
From the late 1990s QUNO worked with the Graduate Institute and UNIDIR as the Geneva Forum, seeking to tackle the problem of trafficking in small arms and light weapons by providing expert input, alternative perspectives and off the record spaces for dialogue and idea generation that could feed into these formal negotiations. The aim of this work was to provide a framework that could encourage and guide national efforts to halt the illicit trade in these weapons.
Up until December 2014 QUNO, through the Geneva Forum, together the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) ran the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Network based in Geneva to coordinate activities related to the promotion of the Treaty and its implementation. GCSP takes this work forward with new partners.
At present QUNO tracks development in multilateral nuclear disarmament and international discussions and developments around drones and lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS).