International Women’s Conference on Preventing the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction to Non-State Actors

2020 is a milestone year for women’s equal and meaningful participation in disarmament.  It marks the 20th anniversary of the Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security; the 10th anniversary of the General Assembly Resolution on Women, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Control; and the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action. All represent key contributions to the recognition and advancement of women in the maintenance of international peace and security, including the field of disarmament and arms control.

In line with the Secretary General Agenda for Disarmament and the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development (SDG 5.5), the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, in partnership with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), will convene a three-day international conference to strengthen women’s participation in Peace and Security, Disarmament and efforts to prevent the proliferation of WMDs to non-State actors. The conference will also touch on exploring the linkages between the gender equality and disarmament, with particular focus on implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) in the Global South. The conference seeks to contribute to strengthened capacity of women working in the field, fostering a gender responsive approach to the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) and progress towards women’s equitable participation in disarmament discussions and decision-making processes.

Target Audience

  • Early-career female professionals of at least two-years of work experience in fields related to WMD disarmament and non-proliferation.

Working Language

The Conference will be held in English.

Objectives and Expected Outcomes

  • Enhanced capacity of participants to address 1540 related issues
  • Increased understanding of participants on disarmament and non-proliferation, including recent trends and topics discussed in the international sphere, including emerging technologies and cross-cutting issues. Relevance to the Global South will be emphasized.
  • Increased understanding on gender-sensitive approach to disarmament related issues, the WPS agenda and the international community’s approach to gender equality in disarmament.
  • Further understanding on challenges women in the field face in their daily work and way forward.
  • Enhanced network among early-career female professionals – nurtured through various offline networking opportunities and to be sustained by an online community.
  • Enhanced awareness on the role women can play to promote 1540 and disarmament agenda – through role models and mentoring sessions.

Scholarship Opportunities

UNODA and OSCE will offer travel sponsorship to up to 80 selected participants (flights, accommodations and meals). Applicants from the Global South and the OSCE participating States will receive preference.