Notes on the Berlin Session on Humanitarian Disarmament

The Berlin Session on Humanitarian Disarmament brought together a wide range of people and organisations from various backgrounds to constructively discuss the challenges facing humanitarian disarmament campaigns, and share ideas as to how best protect civilians and limit harm on humanity due to indiscriminate weapons. The Berlin Session also explored the link and drew parallels between humanitarian security, development, and inhumane weapons.

Attending such an important conference, as two students involved for the first time in a disarmament project, was a tremendous opportunity to connect with the NGO disarmament community and learn relevant insights of multilateral banning initiatives and arms control negotiations. Moreover, the conference allowed us to acquire practical experience in presenting our project to, and debating with, highly qualified disarmament practitioners.

As our project, SCRAP, adopts a different view to disarmament but is complementary to the humanitarian perspective, it was challenging at first to explain our position to those focusing on specific issues such as landmines, biological weapons, killer robots, cluster munitions, and so forth. Nevertheless, our message was well received by the NGO community and, in general, the participants showed a real interest in learning more about our holistic and comprehensive approach.

By Kevin Miletic and Alexandra Tsamados, MA Candidates, International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS