The pandemic has made 2020 an unusual year, kept us physically far from each other but united more than ever to show that humanitarian disarmament is as relevant, and perhaps even more relevant, than before. In these first days of 2021, it is important to carry forward lessons learned from that challenging year.
Since June, more than 250 civil society organizations have signed an open letter arguing that humanitarian disarmament can help lead the way to an improved post-pandemic normal. In a new video, Mahpekay, indiscriminate weapon survivor and orthotic specialist delivering rehabilitation services, Elkin, operator working in Colombian mine contaminated areas and Raluca, humanitarian disarmament advocate share how pandemic has affected their work. Images from Pakistan, India, Afghanistan Colombia, Belgium, France, New York, South Africa, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Turkey and Thailand show how this pandemic is a worldwide concern. MAC has been part of an informal working group on humanitarian disarmament and COVID-19 and we are pleased to share this video from Humanity and Inclusion highlighting some of the lessons learned in 2020:
To mark the new year, in the spirit of humanitarian disarmament and the Open Letter, we are calling the international community to prioritize human security, reallocate military spending to humanitarian causes, work to eliminate inequalities, ensure multilateral fora incorporate diverse voices, and bring a cooperative mind-set to problems of practice and policy. By being inclusive in 2021, we can reshape the security landscape for the future and help create a new—and improved— “normal.”