Gender and Nuclear Weapons Meetings

21 March 2023

Chile in its capacity as TPNW Gender Focal Point convened a second meeting to address gender in the TPNW, hearing expert presentations about how gender-sensitive guidelines and gender perspectives have been integrated into other treaty body victim assistance initiatives. Mary Olson, founder of the Gender and Radiation Impact Project, presented about the gendered harm of ionizing radiation, explaining that for every two boys who would develop cancer in their lifetime after radiation exposure, four girls would. Erin Hunt, co-director of Mines Action Canada, explained the evolution of a gender-sensitive approach to provisions under the Mine Ban Treaty and the Cluster Munitions Convention and provided examples of guidelines developed for implementation of a gender–sensitive approach to victim assistance. Wanda Muñoz, a consultant on victim assistance and humanitarian disarmament, spoke to provide recommendations for gender-sensitive victim assistance from the MBT, CCM and Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, including employing a twin-track approach, pairing assistance with empowerment, and working towards gender-responsive budgeting. Experts addressed questions from attending states parties including about their recommendations for progress by the Second Meeting of States Parties and potential outputs.

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30 January 2023

On 30 January 2023, the Mission of Chile hosted the first meeting of the TPNW gender focal point at the UN in New York. Among other things, the gender focal point is tasked with developing guidelines for gender- and age-sensitive victim assistance in relation to the TPNW’s Article 6 provisions, as well as guidelines for integrating gender perspectives in relation to the TPNW’s Article 7 provisions on international cooperation and assistance. 

Ray Acheson of Reaching Critical Will/WILPF and Véronique Christory of the International Committee of the Red Cross were invited by the Chair to address the meeting. They presented some context for the gender components of the TPNW and the 2022 Action Plan and offered some recommendations for the intersessional period and 2MSP. A briefing paper from WILPF on this topic is forthcoming.

Several states parties in attendance indicated their support for the presentations and for pursuing work in relation to gender and the TPNW. The Chair indicated that he intends to convene virtual consultations with states parties and civil society during the intersessional period to get inputs to further work on these issues. There was also some discussion of how those interested in the gender focal point work can collaborate with the Article 6 and 7 working group, given the overlaps with the mandate of the focal point to develop age- and gender-sensitive guidelines in that respect.

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