United Nations


David Grimason mourns his 2 year old son Alistair who was killed in crossfire from an illegal weapon. Photo: Andrew Kelly

Blog: Fighting for an Arms Trade Treaty at the UN General Assembly

I'm in New York, helping co-ordinate our plans with Control Arms Coalition colleagues, on the eve of the UN General Assembly First Committee (which deals with disarmament). Two months have passed since the end of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) conference, where world governments came so close to agreeing a treaty that would regulate the global arms trade, and it is time to renew pressure to push for the work to be completed.

Protecting women in conflict

Blog: Protecting women in conflict

27 activists, international development professionals, and academics met in The Hague on 4 June for the third annual Women Peace and Security Global Training.

This two week training focused on several subject areas to enable participants to:

Control Arms campaigners. Credit: Fred Lubang/Control Arms

Blog: Last bend before the homestretch for the Arms Trade Treaty

Six years ago Oxfam celebrated a campaign victory when the UN voted to start work on an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). So why, you may ask, am I at the UN campaigning for an ATT this week? The short answer is that ‘things take time, especially at the UN’.

Show some love for the Arms Trade Treaty

Blog: Showing some love for the Arms Trade Treaty

Valentines Day at the Prep Com (the Arms Trade Treaty Preparatory Committee) – a perfect excuse to do some sort of campaigning activity at the UN.  Our message to the diplomats this morning as they entered the room was a very simple one:

Headstones: 1 person is killed every minute by arms. Photo: Oxfam

Blog: Global Arms Trade Treaty picks up speed

Momentum builds up as key states, survivors, investors' group, and industry give full backing for global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

Diplomats at the United Nations' talks on the future Arms Trade Treaty made serious progress last week with a growing number of key countries bringing their support to the process.

Bernard Kouchner, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, speaks in favor of a Financial Transaction Tax. Credit: Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development

Blog: Old school promotion of innovative development financing

UN delegates who had the chance to participate in the side-event on innovative financing at the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals on 21 September will remember this weird and magical moment for quite a long time.

The UN’s HiFi system had broken down and panelists promoted several innovative mechanisms to finance development in an old school kind of way, crying just like vendors in a crowded marketplace.

Blog: Obama's speech at the UN Millennium Development Goals Summit: Awesome

Today US President Obama laid down the gauntlet for all rich companies whose tax avoidance means less money for the poorest countries. He called for tougher rules all round, and now he must take this message to the G20 later this year to make it a global priority.

President Obama knocked it out of the park in his address to the UN MDG Summit this afternoon. We asked for a “barn burner of a speech,” and boy did we get one.

The Speech

Some excerpts:

Irungu Houghton speaking to activists and citizens in New York City

Blog: MDGs: Will world leaders stand up, or hit the snooze button?

Day 1 at the United Nations Special Summit on the Millennium Development Goals aptly found me on the streets of New York City speaking to activists and citizens. A powerful coalition of organizations under the joint banner of the Global Call to Action against Poverty had organized a public rally on the steps of the Lincoln Center.

Climate activists at Cochabamba Bolivia World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. Photo: flickr.com/photos/cityprojectca

Blog: Bolivia People's Conference on Climate Change: Another world is possible

Bert Maerten, Oxfam's Global Climate Change Campaign Lead, reports from last week's World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. The Conference sent a clear message: radical change is needed.

Blog: 3 days until the UN Climate Change Conference begins

And it’s getting hectic.  Emails are flying, to-dos are getting ticked off and equipment is being unpacked, as my colleagues and I finalise our plans and begin arriving in Copenhagen, just ahead of the start of the UN Climate Conference.

Why are we here?


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