work on Small Arms and Light Weapons
Why Small Arms?
its history QUNO has focused much of its peace-related effort
on fostering disarmament negotiations at the UN. The search for
controlling or banning nuclear weapons was often the central
element of this work. In 1994 QUNO staff in New York and Geneva
decided to shift this focus. They recognized that many groups
around the world were continuing to focus on nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, the world system was witnessing immense carnage caused
by the use of conventional weapons, particularly small arms and
landmines. Seeing that relatively few groups were taking up this
disarmament challenge, QUNO chose to shift its attention to the
largely ignored, but dangerous accumulation of small weapons
around the world. QUNO’s specific work on small arms and
its broader focus on peace are grounded in the historic Peace
Testimony of Friends.
QUNO Objectives on Small Arms and Light Weapons:
To Support implementation of the UN Programme of Action (PoA), through information sharing and network building.
This work takes place through informal meetings and consultations with UN Member States, UN Secretariat and Agencies, and NGOs working on the issue of small arms. QUNO in New York (largely through the New York Small Arms Forum) and Geneva (largely through the Geneva Forum) have been instrumental in facilitating ongoing dialogue among states, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations. The Geneva Process, for example, has become a key on-going instrument for the promotion of PoA implementation. In addition, both offices were active in the founding of the International Action Network on Small Arms and continue to support the work of IANSA.
To promote cross-cutting approaches that incorporate diverse and under-examined perspectives on small arms. In particular, QUNO staff in New York and Geneva have been instrumental in promoting the understanding of factors that cause high worldwide demand for small arms. This work also explores approaches that can be seen to reduce this demand and hence reduce the effects of armed violence.
In general, this work takes place by linking different sections of the UN system and diverse civil society groups working on issues including human rights and small arms, gender and small arms, children and armed conflict and community policing. These diverse perspectives are explored through informal meetings between interested members of the UN community.
QUNO offices in New York and Geneva have held a series of regional workshops on the topic of small arms demand. Currently, QUNO Geneva plays a principal leadership role in this area of work.
In the run-up to the 2006 Review Conference, both offices are actively engaged in initiatives that explore and promote cross-cutting approaches and under-examined perspectives on small arms. At the January Preparatory Committee to the 2006 Review Conference in New York QUNO staff were engaged in a range of activities.
To disseminate information on the UN small arms process.
QUNO in New York and Geneva each produce regular newsletters and occasional briefing papers that report on small arms work at the UN. Also, proceedings from demand workshops are made available through detailed reports. In addition, QUNO is one of several NGOs that jointly report on the UN General Assembly First Committee through the First Committee Monitor.
For further information on QUNO’s small arms work, contact Sarah Clarke in New York (email@example.com) or David Atwood in Geneva (firstname.lastname@example.org).