What’s on in Geneva this week? (6-10 January 2020)

  • 06 Jan 2020  
  • by  Marion Loddo

Happy New Year! As the U2 song goes “all is quiet on New Year’s Day,” and the same applies to Geneva this week where many of us are slowly (but surely) emerging from our “end-of-the-year hibernation” and going back to work. It also means it is time to look at what is ahead for the disarmament agenda in 2020, so here is a recap’ of the main disarmament events and conferences scheduled for this year (in chronological order):

– The Group of Governmental Experts on  ammunition stockpiles will meet in January, April and July to examine problems arising from the accumulation of conventional ammunition stockpiles in surplus.

– The Conference on Disarmament will return to business as usual from 20 January.  The first part of this year’s session will run until 27 March. Then, the CD will meet from 25 May to 10 July (part 2), and from 3 August to 18 September (part 3). It will be presided over by: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, and Belarus.

– The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) working groups on implementation, universalization, and reporting and transparency will meet in February and April. This will be followed in August by the Sixth Conference of States Parties to the ATT under the presidency of Argentina (Ambassador Mr. Carlos Foradori).

– Ireland will host a second informal consultation for a political declaration to address the issue of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. A third consultation should also take place in April (date to be announced later).

– The second and third session of the Open-ended working group on developments in the information and communication technology field will respectively take place in February and July.  The OEWG is chaired by Ambassador Jürg Lauber, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN in New York. While the Group of Governmental Experts on advancing responsible state behaviour in cyberspace,  chaired by Ambassador Guilherme de Aguiar Patriota of Brazil, will meet in February and August.

– From 27 April to 22 May, all the attention will be directed towards the Tenth NPT Review Conference taking place in New York. This year will also mark the 50th anniversary of the treaty entry into force.

– 2020 also marks the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Preparatory meetings to the review conference are scheduled to take place on 8 June and 4 September.  The Second Review Conference to the CCM will be held in November in Lausanne under the presidency of Switzerland.

– Discussions on autonomous weapons systems will continue in June and August under the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) framework. The discussion will be chaired by Latvia (Ambassador Jānis Kārkliņš). The CCW Protocol V Annual Conference will take place on 9 November. This will be followed by the CCW Amended Protocol II Annual Conference on 10 November. While the CCW Annual Meeting of High Contracting Parties will convene from 11 to 13 November.

– Lastly, the Biological Weapons Convention Meeting of States Parties will be held in Geneva from 8-11 December 2019.


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For more disarmament events, check out our calendar or subscribe to our monthly newsletter. Illustration: Elisabeth McNair, The New Yorker, January 2020