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Disarmament Orientation Course 2022

This online orientation course for Geneva disarmament diplomats is designed and presented jointly by UNIDIR and UNODA, and will be held from 7-10 and 13-17 June 2022. The course consists of six thematic modules, with each module comprising a reading list, an introductory video and a 120-minute interactive online videoconference session. Participation in the interactive sessions is mandatory for course participants. The reading list is available through the links below, and may be freely accessed. Please note that these course materials are aimed at a specialist professional audience. The views and opinions expressed in the course materials do not necessarily represent the official positions of the United Nations on any issue.

 

        

 

PROGRAMME:

 

Module 1: Scene-setting: context, history and mechanisms  (7 June, 15:00-17:00 CEST)

Key learning objectives:

  1. Understand the relationship and interactions between the global political and security environment and disarmament diplomacy.
  2. Know the roles and operations of the key components of the multilateral disarmament machinery.

Topics

  • The global security context: An overview of current and recent developments and their implications for arms control and disarmament and the UN Secretary-General’s Agenda.
  • Disarmament machinery: the role, history and current situation of the Conference on Disarmament; other mechanisms within and outside the UN.

 

Module 2: Weapons of mass destruction (8 June, 15:00-17:00 CEST)

Key learning objectives:

  1. Understand the key issues and treaties in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and acquire an overview of the challenges and opportunities for the tenth NPT Review Conference, and challenges and opportunities associated with the entry into force of the TPNW.
  2. Understand the key issues and treaties related to biological and chemical weapons and acquire an overview of the challenges and opportunities for the Ninth BWC Review Conference.

Topics

  • Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation: The NPT, an overview, preparing for the postponed Tenth Review Conference, and challenges and opportunities for the 2022-2025 review cycle.
  • Nuclear weapon Free Zones and the discussions on a WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East.
  • Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW): humanitarian dimension of nuclear disarmament; issues to be discussed and decided by upcoming 1MSP.
  • Biological and chemical weapons: Biological weapons: Insights into issues arising from the intersessional period 2018 to the present, current issues approaching the Ninth Review Conference. 

 

Module 3: Cross cutting disarmament issues: humanitarian perspectives, gender mainstreaming, civil society participation and financing aspects  (10 June, 13:00-15:00 CEST)

Key learning objectives:

  1. Explore how structural issues affect all areas of disarmament diplomacy.
  2. Consider the roles, viewpoints and potential contributions of different actors working on multilateral disarmament; discuss gender representation and perspectives on disarmament.
  3. Understand the relevance of IHL in disarmament.
  4. Understand the importance of financing aspects for multilateral disarmament processes.

Topics

  • Gender issues: gender representation in disarmament processes; gender Disarmament Impact Group; gender perspectives on disarmament and international security. 
  • International Humanitarian Law (IHL): the relationship between IHL and disarmament; role of IHL in creating and implementing disarmament and arms control treaties.
  • Financing aspects: the role of finances in disarmament diplomacy and implementation of multilateral agreements.
  • This session will also include a 1h “speed networking” session (4x15 min) with civil society organizations.

 

Module 4: Conventional weapons (13 June, 15:00-17:00 CEST)

Key learning objectives:

  1. Understand the key issues and current developments relating to international Conventions that  prohibit or restrict the use of certain types of conventional weapons.
  2. Understand the key issues and current developments relating to international treaties and processes that regulate the transfer and use of conventional weapons and ammunition.

Topics

  • Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)
  • Anti-personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC)
  • Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM)
  • The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and other processes that regulate the transfer and use of conventional weapons and ammunition
  • Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas (EWIPA)

 

Module 5: Space and missiles  (15 June, 15:00-17:00 CEST)

Key learning objectives: 

  1. Understand the key issues and emerging challenges for multilateral governance of space, missiles, and related technologies.
  2. Acquire an overview of current multilateral processes regulating missile technologies.

Topics

  • Space: the PAROS process; the OEWG on space, differing approaches to space security (legally binding and politically binding mechanisms) advances in dual use space-related technologies.
  • Missiles: Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Hague Code of Conduct, hypersonic weapons.

 

Module 6: AI and cybersecurity (16 June, 13:00-15:00 CEST)

Key learning objectives:

  1. Acquire an overview of the implications for international security and arms control of current and emerging information and AI technologies.
  2. Understand the roles and operations of the multilateral processes established to address these issues.

Topics

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML): introduction to military applications of AI/ML, including autonomous weapons systems.
  • Cyber: the Open-Ended Working Group and the framework of responsible state behaviour in cyber space.

 

If you would like to view the programme and materials of the Disarmament Orientation Course 2020, click here.