What’s on in Geneva this week (23-27 March)

  • 23 Mar 2020  
  • by  Marion Loddo

Amidst the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), it comes as no surprise that most disarmament events scheduled for the coming weeks have now been postponed or cancelled. Here is a quick overview.

As mentioned in last week’s blog, the consultations on a political declaration to address the humanitarian impact of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas have been postponed. The third round was scheduled to take place during the week of 23 March. As a result, the Dublin Conference to be held in May in order to adopt the declaration was also postponed until further notice. In the meantime, here is the draft of the political declaration as circulated by Ireland earlier this month.

The Legal Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space was supposed to hold its 59th session in Vienna from 23 March to 3 April. This session has also been cancelled. The UN Office for Outer Space Affairs was looking into the possibility of convening a one-day meeting to consider administrative matters of the Legal Subcommittee and more information would follow soon.

The second session of the Arms Trade Treaty working groups and informal preparatory meetings to the Conference of States Parties, scheduled to take place from 14 to 17 April, have been cancelled. Argentina noted that a plan to facilitate the work of the treaty during the intersessional period and the preparation of the conference of states parties would be announced early this week.

There have been no official announcements yet regarding the upcoming NPT Review Conference, which is set to begin in just 35 days. Rumor has it that the meeting is likely to be postponed and a formal decision should be taken soon.

Last but not least, a note to all aspiring chiefs/ pastry cooks (amateur or not) and gourmet lovers:  take your minds off the new coronavirus for a few minutes by checking the different contributions to the recently launched disarmament cooking and baking contest: #disarmamentbakeoff #disarmamentcookoff.

Stay healthy and don’t forget to listen to some good music!

News Image

Seth Phillips - known from his Instagram account Dude with Sign - holding cardboard signs outlining basic protective measures against the new coronavirus. Photos: @dudewithsign