Over its history QUNO has focused much of its peace-related effort on fostering disarmament negotiations at the UN, for example on chemical and nuclear weapons. By the mid-1990s QUNO also recognised that tremendous damage to communities and societies was being done by conventional weapons, particularly small arms and landmines, and worked to raise awareness of this problem and seek effective ways to tackle it at international level.
Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW)
Since the mid 1990s, the formal negotiations at the UN on small arms control have been dominated by supply aspects, a focus on shrinking the availability of the weapons themselves. QUNO, through its work with partner organisations in the Geneva Forum (link), has been seeking to tackle the problem of trafficking in small arms and light weapons by providing expert input, alternative perspectives and off the record spaces for dialogue and idea generation that could feed into these formal negotiations. The aim of this work is to provide a framework that can encourage and guide national efforts to halt the illicit trade in these weapons.
Other Disarmament Issues
More recently the international focus has turned to the licit trade in weapons with the conclusion of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in March 2013. QUNO, through the Geneva Forum, is seeking to support the on-going ATT process through off-the-record exploration and reflection on key issues. The Geneva Forum and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) have set up the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) Network based in Geneva to coordinate activities related to the promotion of the Treaty and its implementation.
QUNO is also tracking recent developments in multilateral nuclear disarmament as some States and NGO’s attempt to re-activate serious negotiations around this important topic.