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WILPF Sections Arrive in Geneva for Second Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty

20 August 2016

Members from our Cameroonian, Colombian, Spanish and Swedish Sections have arrived in Geneva for a planning weekend before attending the Second Conference of States Parties (CSP2) to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), from 22-26 August 2016. The WILPF delegation will cover the meeting, as well as host a side event on Wednesday, 24 August.

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What will they be talking about?

The preparatory process for this conference was made up of several informal consultations, leading to a draft programme of work for CSP2. Article 17 of the ATT calls on the Conference of States Parties to review the ATT’s implementation, the promotion of its universality, and the establishment of any subsidiary bodies to improve the functioning of the ATT. The expected focus of CSP2 will be on reporting formats (Article 13) and the establishment of a Voluntary Trust Fund (Article 16.3).

Transparency: building awareness through reporting

Transparent, comprehensive reporting is essential to effective implementation and promoting the universality of the ATT. Sweden’s working group on reporting templates has stated the need for a standardised reporting format and timeline. According to the working group, an agreed-upon reporting template aids comparative analysis between states, and helps to ensure that “reporting obligations are being fulfilled in a manner that will not be challenged.” However, public reporting is not yet a mandatory requirement.

In an earlier edition of the ATT Monitor, Ray Acheson – Director of WILPF’s disarmament programme, Reaching Critical Will (RCW) – talks about accountability in the form of public scrutiny and international pressure. Transparency and public reporting are part and parcel of this accountability. The ATT is about a commitment to “responsible action” and “reducing human suffering,” not about “flexibility and sensitivity” around what states might not want to disclose. WILPF’s own advocacy points for CSP2 reiterate these demands.

International assistance

What about those states that lack the resources or capacity for effective implementation? Article 16 of the ATT is titled ‘International Assistance’ and aims to address this question. A ‘Voluntary Trust Fund’ targets issues around the promotion of universality and non-implementation by providing financial assistance for those states that request it. It is unclear at this point which states will be eligible to claim this assistance. However, a transparent reporting process could contribute to this by highlighting areas where states are failing to meet their obligations because of a lack of funds rather than a lack of good will. Furthermore, in the name of the promotion of universality, the scope of the Voluntary Trust Fund should include those states not yet parties to the ATT.

RCW coverage and events

RCW will be sharing reports, relevant documents, and statements, on the ATT section of our website. Subscribe to the ATT Monitor to receive a daily update during the CSP2.

On Wednesday, 24 August, RCW will hold a side event to the CSP2, ‘Preventing gender-based violence through arms control.’ Speakers from WILPF sections in Spain, Cameroon, and Colombia (LIMPAL) will share their experiences, and we will circulate two affiliated case studies on Spain and Sweden.

In addition, a speaker from WILPF Cameroon will participate in a panel discussion hosted by Amnesty International on arms control and the role of civil society, on Wednesday, 24 August at 7pm at UOG, Place des Grottes 3, 1201 Geneva.



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Melissa Torres


Prior to being elected Vice-President, Melissa Torres was the WILPF US International Board Member from 2015 to 2018. Melissa joined WILPF in 2011 when she was selected as a Delegate to the Commission on the Status of Women as part of the WILPF US’ Practicum in Advocacy Programme at the United Nations, which she later led. She holds a PhD in Social Work and is a professor and Global Health Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine and research lead at BCM Anti-Human Trafficking Program. Of Mexican descent and a native of the US/Mexico border, Melissa is mostly concerned with the protection of displaced Latinxs in the Americas. Her work includes training, research, and service provision with the American Red Cross, the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Centre, and refugee resettlement programs in the U.S. Some of her goals as Vice-President are to highlight intersectionality and increase diversity by fostering inclusive spaces for mentorship and leadership. She also contributes to WILPF’s emerging work on the topic of displacement and migration.

Jamila Afghani


Jamila Afghani is the President of WILPF Afghanistan which she started in 2015. She is also an active member and founder of several organisations including the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organisation (NECDO). Elected in 2018 as South Asia Regional Representative to WILPF’s International Board, WILPF benefits from Jamila’s work experience in education, migration, gender, including gender-based violence and democratic governance in post-conflict and transitional countries.

Sylvie Jacqueline Ndongmo


Sylvie Jacqueline NDONGMO is a human rights and peace leader with over 27 years experience including ten within WILPF. She has a multi-disciplinary background with a track record of multiple socio-economic development projects implemented to improve policies, practices and peace-oriented actions. Sylvie is the founder of WILPF Cameroon and was the Section’s president until 2022. She co-coordinated the African Working Group before her election as Africa Representative to WILPF’s International Board in 2018. A teacher by profession and an African Union Trainer in peace support operations, Sylvie has extensive experience advocating for the political and social rights of women in Africa and worldwide.

WILPF Afghanistan

In response to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and its targeted attacks on civil society members, WILPF Afghanistan issued several statements calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with Afghan people and ensure that their rights be upheld, including access to aid. The Section also published 100 Untold Stories of War and Peace, a compilation of true stories that highlight the effects of war and militarisation on the region. 

IPB Congress Barcelona

WILPF Germany (+Young WILPF network), WILPF Spain and MENA Regional Representative

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WILPF uses feminist analysis to argue that militarisation is a counter-productive and ill-conceived response to establishing security in the world. The more society becomes militarised, the more violence and injustice are likely to grow locally and worldwide.

Sixteen states are believed to have supplied weapons to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020 with the US supplying 74 % of weapons, followed by Russia. Much of this equipment was left behind by the US military and is being used to inflate Taliban’s arsenal. WILPF is calling for better oversight on arms movement, for compensating affected Afghan people and for an end to all militarised systems.

Militarised masculinity

Mobilising men and boys around feminist peace has been one way of deconstructing and redefining masculinities. WILPF shares a feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, peace and security. We explore opportunities for strengthening activists’ action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality.

WILPF has been working on challenging the prevailing notion of masculinity based on men’s physical and social superiority to, and dominance of, women in Afghanistan. It recognizes that these notions are not representative of all Afghan men, contrary to the publicly prevailing notion.

Feminist peace​

In WILPF’s view, any process towards establishing peace that has not been partly designed by women remains deficient. Beyond bringing perspectives that encapsulate the views of half of the society and unlike the men only designed processes, women’s true and meaningful participation allows the situation to improve.

In Afghanistan, WILPF has been demanding that women occupy the front seats at the negotiating tables. The experience of the past 20 has shown that women’s presence produces more sustainable solutions when they are empowered and enabled to play a role.

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