What’s on in Geneva this week? (16-20 March)
Over the past days, many countries have taken more stringent measures to curb the speed with which the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading. For those of you in Geneva, you can get the latest information here: www.ge.ch/nouveau-coronavirus-covid-19-ex-2019-ncov. And as the list of canceled or postponed meetings continues to grow, there is not a whole lot of events to feature in our blog this week.
The next two plenary meetings of the Conference on Disarmament are postponed. In the last Council Chamber episode: the CD held a plenary discussion on gender equality and women’s participation in disarmament, and Australia, as the incoming president of this [non]-negotiating forum, presented P6’s new game plan. Spoiler alert: there won’t be another version of the P6 package. In brief, this year’s presidents came up with a coordinated schedule for upcoming plenary meetings covering all agenda items as well as the improved and effective functioning of the CD. During its presidency, Australia was planning to hold at least four thematic plenary meetings addressing the following topics: nuclear disarmament verification, nuclear risk reduction, reducing security risks in outer space, and ways to improve the functioning of the Conference, while consultations on a programme of work would continue in parallel.
The symposium on the International Partnership for Nuclear Disarmament Verification, the annual Annecy NPT Diplomatic Workshop, and the informal consultations on EWIPA, which were to be held on 18-19 March, on 20-21 March, and during the week of 23 March respectively, are also cancelled.
As of today and despite the global situation, absolutely no decision has been taken yet regarding the upcoming NPT Review Conference which is still set to take place at the end of April. Consultations on how to proceed were said to be underway. This indecision over postponing the event is quite troubling, as discussed in this article.
In other news, we just created our own manel warning stamp to indicate whether an event is featuring a male-dominated panel, thus joining the many initiatives to call out the “manel phenomena” and push for gender balanced and diverse panels, such as: @EUPanelWatch, @GenderAvenger, Congrats, you have an all male panel!, ICG Panel Parity Pledge, to name just a few.
Lastly, here is a short selection of recent articles and reports to add to your quarantine reading list: The relationship between the NPT and the TPNW by Thomas Hajnoczi, Spreading the Burden: How NATO became a nuclear alliance by Kjølv Egeland, this new NPA report on participation in multilateral disarmament meetings, and report by UNIDIR on nanomaterials looking at their applications, the risks of their use, and the question of their regulation. You can also check this list of 100 books to read in a lifetime. Stay healthy and happy reading!