The Center for Peace Education participated in the 8th Biennial Meeting of States to the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (UN PoA) at the UN Headquarters in New York from June 27-July 1, 2022.
CPE’s Gender and Disarmament focal point, Bianca Pabotoy, represented the Center as the Asia-Pacific campaigner of the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) delegation.
Chaired by the Philippines, BMS8 concluded with an outcome document dedicated to strengthening the government’s efforts to curb the illicit trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). The BMS8’s outcome document, adopted by consensus, contains a number of paragraphs dedicated to a number of key issues such as: gender and gender-based violence, youth inclusion, the Sustainable Development Goals, among others.
The 5-day meeting included a round of interventions from various delegations, including a dedicated non-government organization segment. CPE delivered the statement on behalf of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), calling on states to look at gun violence as a pulblic health issue, with gunshot surviors found to have an increased risk of mental illness, including depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, suicide and substance abuse disorders. It pointed out how healthcare professionals and policy-makers can be powerful allies in armed violence prevention worldwide.
Bianca Pabotoy delivered IPPNW’s statement calling on arms control measures to be part of a wider spectrum of policy solutions - intersecting security, crime, human rights, health, and development.
CPE’s active engagement at side events
Throughout the week, CPE also participated in three side events to showcase the various efforts and initiatives of the Center to support UN PoA implementation. CPE’s work on conducting national dialogue with the Office of the Special Envoy on Transnational Crime (OSETC) was one of the key examples in IANSA’s event on “Setting voluntary national targets is crucial to supporting the implementation of the #UNPoA” last July 28, 2022. Speaking in a panel with fellow IANSA members from Costa Rica, Cameroon, and the governments of Germany and Canada - this event showcased the meaningful role of civil society in support of government efforts as well as leading clear action points for the concrete implementation of the PoA.
CPE sharing its experience on the National Dialogue project of IANSA
On July 30, CPE spoke at “Connecting the Dots'', a side event organized by the Parliamentary Forum on SALW (PFSALW) and the Mission of Sweden, sharing the synergies and mutually reinforcing commitments to the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and the UN PoA. This discussion included the key challenges and opportunities community members at the grassroots level face when engaging in issues of arms control, and the disproportionate impact of armed violence to women.
CPE speaking on the important synergies between the
Women, Peace and Security Agenda and the UN PoA on SALW
Concluding CPE’s participation in these side events is the “Youth Inclusion and Participation in the Implementation of the UN PoA” where the Center shared the added value and critical role young people play as leaders on action against gun violence. CPE showcased a number of its initiatives throughout the years of MC students’ efforts both at lobbying in parliament, and creation of campaigns to raise awareness of the PoA.
CPE addresses the importance of including youth in all arms control processes and initiatives.
The CPE gives a premium to disarmament education to challenge militarism and prevent armed conflict and armed violence. This kind of education involves empowering young people to express their ideas, and find cooperation with different leaders in society and amongst each other, in order to eliminate violence and build sustainable peace in our individual lives, communities, and societies. Thus, CPE has always actively involved students in its work on the issues of armed violence, working towards a more inclusive world with less weapons.
Read through the complete BMS8 outcome document, daily summary analysis, and more through the dedicated page by IANSA here.