On 8 December 2020, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) launched the fourth edition of the Forces of Change publication to celebrate the contributions of women in the region to disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control, ten years after Resolution 65/69 on Women, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Control was passed by the United Nations General Assembly on 8 December 2010.

The publication’s launch took place within the framework of the Virtual Conference “Women Forces of Change”, which had the objective of highlighting the contributions, challenges and achievements of women in the region in disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control issues, as well as providing different perspectives for strengthening the participation of women in these fields.

During the main session of the Virtual Conference, women leaders in the region working in these areas spoke about their experiences on the path to eliminating nuclear weapons, the process of laying down of weapons in the framework of the Peace Agreement signed by the Colombian Government and the FARC-EP in 2016, the challenges in cybersecurity in the region, and the work of civil society in Central America for arms control and violence prevention. They also shared their reflections on the role of women in these issues.

The publication, Forces of Change IV, explores the stories, experiences and reflections of women who, in one way or another, are promoting the implementation of the pillars established in the Secretary-General’s Disarmament Agenda, namely: “disarmament to save humanity”, which focuses on weapons of mass destruction; “disarmament to save lives” through stricter control of conventional weapons; “disarmament for future generations”, which examines the challenges posed by new technologies; and “strengthening partnerships for disarmament”, which seeks to establish channels of cooperation between different sectors in support of disarmament. Forces of Change IV included more than 80 women from the Latin American and Caribbean region, coming from diverse cultural and professional backgrounds. The publication can be downloaded here: https://bit.ly/2LiOLEh

The Virtual Conference was open to the public and was attended by more than 100 people, including representatives from security, interior, defense and foreign relations sectors, as well as United Nations agencies, civil society organizations, specialists and the public interested in this topic.

This activity forms part of a series of activities that UNLIREC carries out to promote the regional implementation of Resolution 65/69 on Women, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Control. This initiative was made possible thanks to the funding from the Government of Canada and the Government of Sweden.

Watch the Virtual Conference here.