Looking Ahead: The Future of Gender Perspectives in the UNPoA

Simone Wisotzki at UN event on SALW and gender in New York

A white woman with blonde hair and glasses (Simone Wisotzki) sits at a podium desk. In front of her is a screen, a laptop and a microphone. She is wearing a blue blazer and black top. To her left sits a white man with blonde hair and ginger beard. He is wearing a black blazer, white shirt and red tie. In front of him is an electronic nametag, which reads "Callum Watson".

As part of the fourth review conference on the UN Program of Action (UN PoA) to combat the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, the German Federal Govern­ment, the United Nations Institute for Disarma­ment Research (UNIDIR) and the think tank Small Arms Survey hosted a side event on June 24, 2024 entitled 'Looking Ahead: The Future of Gender Perspec­tives in the UNPoA'. On behalf of PRIF, Simone Wisotzki took part in the event at the United Nations in New York.

The 2001 Small Arms Action Program was originally gender-blind. Yet the gender perspec­tive helps to improve the implemen­tation of the Small Arms Action Program. While men are the main victims of war, women and girls often suffer sexualized violence. The Chair­person of the 4th Review Con­ference, Maritza Chan Valverde from Costa Rica, is committed to ensuring that gender aspects in arms control and disarma­ment of small arms are taken into account to a much greater extent than before and are included in the negotiat­ing text. This calls for the inclusion of women in decision-making processes and in the implemen­tation of the action program. The gender perspective should help to better adapt arms control policy measures or peace­building and prevention programs in order to take into account the different needs of those affect­ed. In future, research should take greater account of the different effects that the illicit trade in SALW (Small Arms and Light Weapons) has on women, men and children.

This year's event on June 24, 2024 provided a review of develop­ments to date and an outlook on which topics can be addressed by the member states in the future. Germany also supported this event as part of its feminist foreign policy.

As a member of the German delegation, Simone Wisotzki took part in the panel discussion with Yagya Raj Poudyal, Vivian D. Dogbey, María Pía Devoto and Callum Watson. Simone Wisotzki is a Senior Researcher at PRIF in the Inter­national Security research department. Her research interests include arms control and gender aspects of peace and conflict research. Among other things, she is currently in charge of the project 'Dealing with contestations and backlashes of gender equality in peacebuilding'.