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Civil Society and Disarmament 2014

The Importance of Civil Society in United Nations and Intergovernmental Processes: Views from Four Delegates to the United Nations

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In recent years, non-governmental organizations and other members of civil society have had an ever greater impact on the international agenda. While States establish formal political positions and have the legal and legitimate authority to negotiate, sign and ratify treaties, the ability of organizations and institutions which are independent of a government (NGOs, religious groups, foundations, charities, etc.) to influence these processes is growing. Four delegates from Australia, Costa Rica, Japan, and Mexico, and who worked at the United Nations, share their personal views on the impact civil society stakeholders have had in matters relating to disarmament and arms control.

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Introduction

This anthology presents an opportune collection of expert texts from seasoned practitioners in the disarmament capitals of the United Nations system on some of the most dynamic disarmament and arms control processes to date. Such processes inaugurate new internationally recognized norms about transparency in weapons transfers and use, non-use, victim assistance and education for future generations. The cases examined epitomize a new and creative form of diplomacy for this century in which civil society plays a predominantly engaged role along with key champion States. This partnership is essential to mobilize the necessary momentum for action and change. One such process examined is the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the role civil society members had in breathing its life and what role they will have in the implementation phase.

English

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