(New York) On Thursday 20 February 2014, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Ms. Angela Kane met with NGOs working in the field of disarmament and nonproliferation.
This was the third such meeting to take place at the UN since Ms. Kane was appointed High Representative. The aim of this meeting is to improve coordination and collaboration between NGOs and the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). It is also an occasion to assess the advances that have been made and that are still to be made in the field of disarmament. Thirteen NGOs were represented that day and participants sketched out their main campaigns for the coming year.
Ms. Kane opened the meeting by highlighting upcoming some of the major disarmament and non-proliferation events in 2014: the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Fifth Biennial Meeting of States on the programme of Action on small Arms and Light Weapons (BMS5), both of which will be held in New York. She also discussed a number of issues including the upcoming one-year anniversary of the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the possibility that sufficient ratifications from States parties will trigger its entry-into-force.
Having recently returned from the Nayarit (Mexico) Conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons (13 – 14 February), the High Representative also had much praise for the civil society interventions given there and encouraged them to keep the momentum going.
The NGO representatives made presentations across a broad swath of interests including: work to address the impact of explosive weapons in populated areas, efforts to ban fully autonomous weapons or ‘killer robots’, universalization and implementation of the treaties banning landmines and cluster munitions, nuclear disarmament and the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, cyber warfare, promoting the universalization of the ATT, stopping the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons, and disarmament education.
Ms. Kane strongly supports this dialogue with NGOs and other civil society partners who she said were instrumental in advancing the disarmament agenda.
Article and photographs by Sophie Durut