Disarmament programme

Total and universal disarmament has been one of WILPF’s goals since our start in 1915. Today, our international disarmament work is coordinated through our very well-known Reaching Critical Will programme.

So why is disarmament so important for us?

We are living in a time when:

  • Nine countries still possess over 15,800 nuclear weapons
  • Global military expenditure is over 1.7 trillion USD per year
  • At least 1500 people are killed every day by armed conflict and armed violence

Excessive military expenditure, the bombing and shelling of towns and cities, poorly regulated and irresponsible global arms trade, the possession of nuclear weapons by nine states are – without doubt – some of the primary impediments to peace, security, justice, and equality.

We work on disarmament issues to promote human security and prevent human suffering, reduce militarism, challenge violent masculinities, and achieve sustainable peace for all.

We believe that disarmament and arms control must always be approached as an imperative for human rights and human security and economic, environmental, and social justice. We also apply a gender perspective to our work on weapons and war in order to guarantee security for all and to highlight the full effects arms have on individuals, communities, and societies.

What we do

WILPF started the Reaching Critical Will programme in 1999 to consolidate its efforts on disarmament and arms control. RCW works for the prohibition, control, and disarmament of many different weapon systems; the reduction of global military spending and militarism; and the analysis of gendered aspects of weapons and war.

Since its founding, Reaching Critical Will has promoted and facilitated the engagement of civil society in international processes related to disarmament. Through monitoring, reporting, analysis, and advocacy, RCW has sought to promote transparency, accountability, debate, and action on nuclear weapons, small arms, armed drones, autonomous weapons, and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, as well as military spending, the arms trade, cyber and outer space issues, and more.

Reaching Critical Will also provides accurate and timely reporting on all UN disarmament processes, conferences and initiatives; maintains a comprehensive online archive of all statements, resolutions and other primary documents from UN disarmament fora and processes; facilitates civil society participation in UN disarmament meetings; produces research studies and reports on key issues relevant to disarmament; and coordinates and advocates with international civil society networks and campaigns on issues related to disarmament and militarism.

RCW’s tools and resources facilitate a broader and deeper knowledge of issues related to militarism and disarmament at the diplomatic and grassroots levels.

For more information about WILPF’s disarmament programme, visit RCW website.


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