Being based in Geneva is wonderful. You are surrounded by wonderful nature, easy access to some of the best ski resorts in the world and all the cheese and chocolate you can eat. But every time I make the trip over to New York I’m always struck by the amazing energy and pulse of this city, it’s a great change from small-town Geneva.

This time I’m in New York because of the First Committee of the General Assembly on Disarmament and International Security. During the First Committee, Ray and I produce the weekly First Committee Monitor (FCM). We monitor and analyse all of the discussions that take place here, such as nuclear disarmament, arms trade, and conventional weapons but also broader topics such as the state of the UN disarmament machinery and disarmament education.

This year, we had the FCM redesigned to match our new website and logo better. You can read all the issues and subscribe to it on our website.

Cover of the First Committee Monitor

There’s a lot going on during these four weeks.

One of the main topics of this First Committee is what to do with the draft Arms Trade Treaty that failed to be adopted during the negotiating conference in July. States are expected to approve a resolution that calls for a new, shorter negotiating conference in March next year.

This negotiating conference will be a great opportunity for WILPF members all over the world to highlight the linkages between human rights violations, gender-based violence and arms trade. We will keep all WILPF members updated on the process and hope you’ll join us in campaigning for a solid treaty that will prevent transfer of arms when there is a risk of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including acts of gender-based violence.

Another important issue for Reaching Critical Will is the question of disarmament machinery and what to do with the stalemate of disarmament negotiations. Ray delivered a great presentation on the topic last week, where she talked about consensus rules, political will and the Conference on Disarmament. Read her remarks.

As always, we’d love any feedback or comments from WILPF members. Just send us an email.