Alternative Approaches in Multilateral Decision Making: by John Borrie, Vanessa Martin Randin

By John Borrie, Vanessa Martin Randin

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Extra info for Alternative Approaches in Multilateral Decision Making: Disarmament As Humanitarian Action

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If the fundamental importance to humanity of armed violence is recognized, referring to the model could have profound implications for how affairs are conducted in the international sphere and how international law, in particular, the United Nations Charter, the international law of arms control and disarmament, IHL and human rights law are developed and applied. Such assertions may seem far removed from the subject of this paper but, at the end of the day, from a public health perspective, these bodies of international law serve primarily to manage armed violence.

Failure to do so will foreclose options for multilateral effectiveness to improve and, as a consequence, likely undermine states’ own security. Human security or broader humanitarian approaches to disarmament and arms control are not “one size fits all” solutions to multilateral problemsolving. Obviously they are context dependent, but a key characteristic— the involvement of those they are intended to help and those who carry out or live with the realities of work on the ground within a coherent and goal (rather than process) oriented framework—is relevant in any context.

The model, by forcing a focus on reality, can preclude unreasonable argument. “NON-LETHAL” WEAPONS It is difficult to oppose the development of new means and methods of warfare, which would lead to fewer deaths, injuries, disabilities or deprivation to civilians. However, the term “non-lethal weapons” is applied to a range of old and new weapons the use of which is, purportedly, associated with low lethality. Such weapons can be classified according to how they damage or incapacitate the human body.

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