How can we collectively better advocate for humanitarian crises like those in Yemen, Syria, and Ukraine? How do organisations effectively engage young people in their advocacy campaigns? What steps can civil society take to ensure that gender issues are included in current and future disarmament policy?

These questions were at the forefront of the 2015 Humanitarian Disarmament Forum, which took place from 17-18 October at Pace University in New York. More than 60 representatives and activists from all parts of the world came together to share their work and brainstorm on how they might work together in future campaigns. The forum itself included a wide range of seminars, panels, and strategic planning sessions, including specific analysis of work being done in Gaza, Yemen, Syria, and Ukraine.

As part of its emphasis on survivor stories and person-to-person engagement, the forum held a panel linking the current refugee crisis in the Middle East and Northern Africa to present-day disarmament challenges. Panellists had experienced living in the midst of various crises first-hand, and their insights were particularly powerful because of these experiences.

For refugees, the saying ‘either we live together or we die together’ isn’t just a phrase, ” said Osama Damo, Programme Officer for Save the Children Canada. “It’s a way of life. I didn’t escape the air strikes because I was smart; I escaped them because I was lucky. This difference is important to understand.”

Share this post:

Verified by MonsterInsights