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Moving humanitarian disarmament forward

Few can disagree that NGOs and other civil society actors are crucial players in national and international politics today, and by working together on a collective goal, through coalitions and campaigns, we can become even stronger.

In October, Reaching Critical Will/WILPF participated in a “Humanitarian Disarmament Campaigns Summit”, organised by Human Rights Watch. It brought together organisations and campaigns working on landmines, cluster munitions, nuclear weapons, explosive weapons, the arms trade, small arms, uranium weapons, and robot arms, to discuss how we can move humanitarian disarmament issues forward.

humans first

We talked about how civil society can work together to collectively advance humanitarian disarmament through multilateral processes, and took the opportunity to use the meeting for cross-fertilization of ideas, and encourage greater cooperation and collaboration among civil society

It was a weekend of great discussions and constructive ideas and strategies on how to push for a human security perspective in all arms-related issues.

For RCW, it was great to be part of a larger community that strives to protect civilians and limit human suffering through disarmament. We talked about lessons learned through both past successes and failures, and listed action points for moving forward. This is particularly relevant for our own upcoming work on a treaty banning nuclear weapons.

We are so grateful to Human Rights Watch for making this summit happen, and for highlighting just how powerful NGOs can be. It was an inspirational event and reminded us all that change is possible!

We have banned biological and chemical weapons; we have banned landmines and cluster munitions. The human suffering caused by nuclear weapons would be unimaginable and no emergency relief would be possible. It’s time to get rid of the weapon that has the most catastrophic potential consequences. It’s time to negotiate a treaty to ban nuclear weapons once and for all!

A PDF of the final communiqué is available in English and French.