International Disarmament Institute News

March 14, 2017
by mbolton
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Comment Utiliser le Traité sur le Commerce des Armes Afin de Cibler La Violence Armée au Sein des Communautés Pastorales

Le Traité des Nations Unies sur le commerce des armes (TCA) présente d’importantes opportunités pour cibler les conséquences néfastes de la prolifération des armes légères et de petit calibre (ALPC) au sein des communautés pastorales en Afrique de l’Est et dans la Corne de l’Afrique, ainsi qu’ailleurs. Les responsables politiques et les intervenants locaux peuvent utiliser le TCA afin de limiter le détournement d’armes et de munitions vers les milices, les bandes locales et les voleurs de bétail. Le TCA constitue également un cadre propice pour inciter les forces de l’ordre à respecter le droit humanitaire et les droits de l’homme dans les communautés pastorales.

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February 11, 2017
by mbolton
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Op-Ed: The world is safer because of the Iran deal. We must not abandon it.

Commentary by Matthew Bolton, Director of Pace University’s International Disarmament Institute in The Hill, 10 February 2017:

The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the “Iran deal,” represents one of the most significant recent diplomatic victories in curbing the spread of nuclear weapons. It resulted from complex technical negotiations that do not lend themselves to snappy slogans. Nevertheless, at its heart, the agreement’s simple bargain has made the world safer.

Click here to read the editorial.

December 15, 2016
by mbolton
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Op-Ed: Saving Rhinos while Protecting Human Rights: The Value of the Arms Trade Treaty for Global Anti-Poaching Efforts

Republished from the Forum on the Arms Trade’s “Looking Ahead 2017” blog series.

The world is facing what the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has described as an “Environmental Crime Crisis,” with an unprecedented slaughter of large mammals, particularly in the African continent. More than 100,000 elephants have been killed by poachers in the last five years and, over the same period, the number of rhinoceroses poached has increased every year.

The illicit wildlife trade is now increasingly sophisticated, dangerous and globalized, integrated with armed groups and organized crime. It has been fueled by a proliferation of military-grade guns in unstable regions with high concentrations of rhinos and elephants. Since 2014, the UN Security Council has identified poaching as a regional security threat in Africa (S/RES/2134 and S/RES/2136). This month UNEP released a new report showing how environmental crime “threatens peace and security.” In 2017, the Arms Trade Treaty and other international measures could offer tools to address these problems in an integrated way.

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October 30, 2016
by mbolton
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Time for a Discursive Rehabilitation: General and Complete Disarmament

In his chapter in a new UNODA Occasional Paper on Rethinking General and Complete Disarmament, Director of Pace University’s International Disarmament Institute Matthew Bolton calls for a “discursive rehabilitation” of comprehensive approaches to disarmament:

A rarely acknowledged irony of the post–cold war era is that it ushered in a moment when the world came closest to achieving “General and Complete Disarmament” (GCD) but, simultaneously, the concept was discursively marginalized and discredited as “unrealistic”. The sort of comprehensive disarmament envisioned by the GCD concept — reducing security forces and arsenals to no more than is needed for national safety—can now be talked about in policy circles only as something that is “done to” a former conflict zone, usually in the Global South. Reviewing the history of GCD reminds us that it was taken seriously by “serious people” and even written into international law. It allows us to pay attention to a concept that haunts the edges of our conventional wisdom about global security policy. The point is not to indulge in nostalgic “what if” counterfactuals, but to have the past challenge our present complacency and reintroduce GCD as a “thinkable thought.”

To read the whole chapter, click here.

October 25, 2016
by mbolton
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Intersections between Wildlife Crime and the Arms Trade

Pace University’s International Disarmament Institute presented research on how the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) offers opportunities to the address the violent nexus between wildlife crime and illicit arms trafficking during an informal lunch at the UN hosted by Control Arms and Zambia.

The report was well received by representatives of African states that have been affected by wildlife crime, highlighting the importance of the issue and the willingness to cooperate and use existing provisions to address it in a creative way.

For further details on this event, read the write-up from Control Arms.

September 28, 2016
by mbolton
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Comment utiliser le Traité sur le commerce des armes pour cibler la Criminalité liée aux espèces sauvages

Le  Traité  sur  le  commerce  des  armes  (TCA)  des  Nations  Unies offre des  possibilités  pour cibler  le  lien  dangereux  entre  le  braconnage  des  espèces  sauvages  et  le trafic  illicite  des armes. Ce  rapport  fournit  des  conseils aux  responsables  politiques  et aux défenseurs des espèces sauvages qui cherchent à utiliser le TCA pour évaluer et atténuer le risque que les transferts d’armes soient détournés  ver s  des réseaux  de  braconnage  ou servent à  aggraver les  effets néfastes de la militarisation  de  la protection de la  faune. Tout en  encourageant  la coopération  régionale  et  internationale,  ce  rapport  prône  l’universalisation  et  la  mise  en œuvre  rigoureuse  du  TCA,  ainsi  que  de  la Convention sur  le  commerce international des espèces  de  faune  et  de  flore  sauvages  menacées  d’extinction  (la CITES) et  d’autres instruments pertinents, tout  particulièrement  dans  les  États exposés  au  risque  de braconnage et d’autres crimes liés aux espèces sauvages.

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September 27, 2016
by mbolton
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How to Use the Arms Trade Treaty to Address Wildlife Crime

A family of white rhinos at Lake Nakuru, Kenya, June 2016.

A new report published by Pace University’s International Disarmament Institute and Control Arms Secretariat examines the potential role of the Arms Trade Treaty in addressing wildlife crime in East Africa. The report is one of several that will be published by the ATT Academy project:

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) offers opportunities to address the violent nexus of wildlife poaching and illicit arms trafficking. This report offers specific advice to policymakers and advocates seeking to use the framework of the ATT to assess and mitigate the risk that arms transfers will be diverted to poaching networks or exacerbate the negative impacts of militarizing wildlife protection. Advocating international and regional cooperation, the report also encourages the universalization and rigorous implementation of the ATT, as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and other relevant instruments, particularly in States at risk of poaching and other wildlife crime.

To read the report, click here.

The report is also available in French.

August 9, 2016
by mbolton
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Special Section of Global Policy: The Humanitarian Initiative on Nuclear Weapons

The academic journal Global Policy has published a Special Section on nuclear disarmament edited by Pace University’s International Disarmament Institute, focusing on the Humanitarian Initiative on Nuclear Weapons. As states meet in Geneva this week for the UN Open-Ended Working Group on nuclear disarmament, it is clear that the  Humanitarian Initiative has created new openings for stigmatizing and prohibiting nuclear weapons.

Below are abstracts of and links to the articles, written by scholars and practitioners involved in the effort to change the way policymakers think about nuclear weapons, reframing them from instruments of security to a potential humanitarian catastrophe in the making.

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