Addressing the Political Impact of Inclusion and Exclusion in Multilateral Disarmament Forums

  • Elizabeth MinorEmail author


This chapter explores who is represented in multilateral processes on disarmament. Drawing on five years of quantitative data concerning meetings of 13 international forums regarding weapons, it examines the marginalization of developing countries, certain regions, civil society, and women. The chapter examines how patterns of underrepresentation may impact on international processes, and how they might be addressed toward more equitable processes of change in this sphere in the future—including through reframing key issues in disarmament to address a wider range of interests using a humanitarian perspective. Focusing on recent meetings on nuclear disarmament, the author shows how overrepresentation of major military powers overrepresents policy positions upholding the status quo and underrepresents widely supported humanitarian perspectives.


  1. Article 36. (2013). Banning Nuclear Weapons Without the Nuclear Armed States. Retrieved from
  2. Article 36. (2015a). The Underrepresentation of Low-Income Countries in Nuclear Disarmament Forums. Retrieved from
  3. Article 36. (2015b). Women and Multilateral Disarmament Forums: Patterns of Underrepresentation. Retrieved from
  4. Article 36. (2016). State Participation at the UN Nuclear Talks—Who Is Represented? Retrieved from
  5. Australia. (2016). Opening Statement by Australia on 5 August Session of OEWG: Ian McConville, Charge, Australian Mission to the Conference on Disarmament. Retrieved from
  6. Bolton, M. (2018). The ‘-Pacific’ Part of ‘Asia-Pacific’: Oceanic Diplomacy in the 2017 Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Asian Journal of Political Science, 26(3), 371–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bolton, M., & James, K. E. (2014). Nascent Spirit of New York or Ghost of Arms Control Past? The Normative Implications of the Arms Trade Treaty for Global Policymaking. Global Policy, 5(4), 439–452.Google Scholar
  8. Bolton, M., & Minor, E. (2016). The Discursive Turn Arrives in Turtle Bay: The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons’ Operationalization of Critical IR Theories. Global Policy, 7(3), 385–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Borrie, J., & Thornton, A. (2008). The Value of Diversity in Multilateral Disarmament Work. United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). Retrieved from
  10. Cohn, C. (1987). Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals. Signs, 12(4), 687–718.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Costa Rica. (2015). Statement at the 2015 Review Conference of the Non-proliferation Treaty, General Debate. Retrieved from
  12. Danskin, K., & Perkins, D. (2014). Women as Agents of Positive Change in Biosecurity. Science and Diplomacy, 3(2). Retrieved from
  13. Department for General Assembly and Conference Management. (n.d.). United Nations Regional Groups of Member States. Retrieved from
  14. Highsmith, N., & Stewart, M. (2018). The Nuclear Ban Treaty: A Legal Analysis. Survival, 60(1), 129–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hugo, T. G., & Egeland, K. (2014). Jumping the Hurdles: Obstacles and Opportunities for Inclusive Multilateral Disarmament (Background Paper No. 13/2014). International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI). Retrieved from
  16. International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). (2015). Humanitarian Pledge. Retrieved from
  17. ILPI and UNIDIR. (2016). Gender, Development and Nuclear Weapons: Shared Goals, Shared Concerns. Retrieved from
  18. Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor. (2015). Retrieved from
  19. Mathur, R. (2018). Techno-Racial Dynamics of Denial & Difference in Weapons Control. Asian Journal of Political Science, 26(3), 297–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mazower, M. (2013). Governing the World: The History of an Idea, 1815 to the Present. New York, NY: Penguin.Google Scholar
  21. Minor, E. (2015). Changing the Discourse on Nuclear Weapons: The Humanitarian Initiative. International Review of the Red Cross, 97(899), 711–730.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Minor, E. (2016). Disarmament, Development and Patterns of Marginalisation in International Forums. Article 36. Retrieved from
  23. Minor, E. (2017, December). Missing Voices: The Continuing Underrepresentation of Women in Multilateral Forums on Weapons and Disarmament. Arms Control Today.Google Scholar
  24. Nash, T. (2015, December). The Technologies of Violence and Global Inequality. Sur International Journal on Human Rights, 22. Retrieved from
  25. NPT. (2018). Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: Draft Chair’s Factual Summary (p. 7). Retrieved from
  26. Nystuen, G., & Casey-Maslen, S. (Eds.). (2010). The Convention on Cluster Munitions: A Commentary. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (2013). DAC List of ODA Recipients Effective for Reporting on 2012 and 2013 Flows. Retrieved from
  28. Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). (n.d.). Programme to Strengthen Cooperation with Africa. Retrieved from
  29. OPCW. (n.d.). Capacity Building Programmes. Retrieved from
  30. Reaching Critical Will. (2017). Statements from the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty Negotiations. Retrieved from
  31. Roberts, B. (2018). Ban the Bomb? Or Bomb the Ban? Next Steps on the Ban Treaty. Global Policy Security Brief. Retrieved from
  32. Shadung, M. (2015). In the Debate Towards Nuclear Disarmament, Where Are All the Women? ISS Africa. Retrieved from
  33. Strand, H., & Dahl, M. (2011). Defining Conflict Affected Countries (Background Paper Commissioned by UNESCO). Retrieved from
  34. Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP). (n.d.). UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia. Uppsala University. Retrieved from
  35. United Kingdom. (2018). 2018 Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Treaty on Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Geneva, 23 April–4 May 2017, General Statement by the United Kingdom. Retrieved from
  36. United Nations (UN). (2015). Sustainable Development Goals. Retrieved from
  37. UN. (2017a). Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Retrieved from
  38. UN. (2017b). United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally-Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons: Second Session. Retrieved from
  39. UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). (2016). The Implications of the Reverberating Effects of Explosive Weapons Use in Populated Areas for Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. Retrieved from
  40. UNGA. (2010) Resolution 65/69: Women, Disarmament, Non-proliferation and Arms Control (A/RES/65/69). Retrieved from
  41. UNGA. (2013). Women, Disarmament, Non-proliferation and Arms Control: Report of the Secretary-General (A/68/166). Retrieved from
  42. UNGA. (2014). Report of the Fifth Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (A/CONF.192/ BMS/2014/2). Retrieved from
  43. UNGA. (2017a). United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally-Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards Their Total Elimination: List of Participants (A/CONF.229/2017/INF/4/Rev.1). Retrieved from
  44. UNGA. (2017b). Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (A/C.1/72/L.40). Retrieved from
  45. United Nations Security Council (UNSC). (2000). Resolution 1325 (S/RES/1325).Google Scholar
  46. UNSC. (2013). Resolution 2117 (S/RES/2117). Retrieved from
  47. UNSC. (2015). Resolution 2200 (S/RES/2200). Retrieved from
  48. United States. (2018). Opening Statement by the United States of America: Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LondonUK

Personalised recommendations