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An Evolving Coalition: the role of the EU and NGOs at the 2006 UN Review Conference on Small Arms and Light Weapons

Bouchard, Caroline, and Alcalde, Javier. (2007) An Evolving Coalition: the role of the EU and NGOs at the 2006 UN Review Conference on Small Arms and Light Weapons. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)

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    This paper explores the conditions that influenced the relationship between the EU and NGOs and their mutual success in a case of human security negotiations: the 2006 UN Small Arms Review Conference (RevCon). The uncontrolled spread of small arms and light weapons (SALW) is considered a direct threat to human security. The EU has presented itself as a leader in the fight against the proliferation of SALW and has emphasized the need to work in partnership with civil society to address this issue. This paper suggests that the EU and NGOs under the umbrella organization IANSA (International Action Network on Small Arms) appeared to present a united front and to form a coalition at the Review Conference. However, the partnership between the EU and NGOs was unsuccessful: the RevCon was not able to adopt a final document. This paper uses a multi-level game approach and the literature on coalitions in multilateral negotiations to analyze EU-NGO interactions during negotiations at the RevCon. The paper argues that the EU’s willingness to listen to NGOs did not transform itself into formal cooperation: no plan of action was agreed between these two actors. It also suggests that while NGOs intensely lobbied several key EU member states, the NGOs’ approach towards the EU as a collective actor was much weaker. Ultimately, the coalition formed by the EU and NGOs also failed to acquire the support of key players, particularly the United States. Finally, this paper highlights that the negotiations process can have a direct influence on the EU’s relationship with NGOs: the consensus rule of the Review Conference directly affected their mutual success.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Small arms and light weapons (SALW); International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA); NGOs.
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Other > NGOs
    Other > integration theory (see also researching and writing the EU in this section)
    Other international institutions > UN
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2007 (10th), May 17-19, 2007
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2008
    Page Range: p. 32
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:49

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