Disarmament: Towards Maintenance of International Peace and Security

2 credits / 6 weeks weeks
17 Jun 2019 - 26 Jul 2019

Professor Ana Teresa Dengo Benavides

The course will provide an overview of the basic concepts and terminology of disarmament and non-proliferation both of weapons of mass destruction as well as conventional weapons, discussing how the various international instruments (treaties, conventions, arrangements, etc.) contribute to promote international peace and security. Amid the continued escalation of global challenges, it will discuss gaps in arms control and the convergence of emerging technologies.

Weeks I and II will discuss weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s), starting by providing an overview of the international disarmament machinery for WMD’s as well as the role of different institutions in the field. Then a more in-depth discussion will be generated, such as “as treaties collapse, can we still prevent a nuclear arms race?”

Weeks III and IV will concentrate on conventional weapons, starting with concepts and the various instruments that deal with them. As women and children are largely affected by conventional weapons, the gender dimension of disarmament will be incorporated here as well.

Week V will discuss outer space matters, including existing instruments and international legislation thereof.

Week VI will discuss the impact of conflict and then go on to analyze how disarmament and development interact.




Ana Teresa Dengo Benavides

Ms. Dengo is a retired diplomat with over three decades of working in the international field, in international development, disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. She served as Ambassador of Costa Rica to Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and to the United Nations in Vienna for eight years. Among others, she chaired the Comprehensive-Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Preparatory Commission, the Hague Code of Conduct, served at the Board of Governors of the Atomic Energy Agency and co-chaired the Informal Working Group on the Future, including programmes and resources, of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. She also served as a diplomat in Washington DC and New York and worked at several international organizations, including the Comprehensive-Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBTO) and the United Nations system. She holds a BS in Industrial Engineering and a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University. Ms. Dengo’s main areas of expertise include disarmament, diplomacy and negotiation, strategic planning, leadership training and capacity-building. From 2016-2018 she was a professor in the Regional Courses in Egypt, Ethiopia, Thailand and Costa Rica aiming at boosting the participation of women in disarmament and peace-related matters. In 2018 she taught the disarmament component of the on-site Master’s course at the UPeace Headquarters. Until recently, she served as Permanent Representative of the United Nations University for Peace in Austria and the UN in Vienna. Co-author of A Search for Purpose, from the Best-Selling Series Wake Up and Live the Life You Love, she is currently in the process of writing two more books. Former President of the Vienna International Centre Society for Conscious Living. Both through her work as well as for her interest to learn about the various cultures and peoples, she has travelled extensively. She has been a speaker at many international conferences on matters such as disarmament and peace-related matters and leadership, particularly on women matters. She has also served as a personal development coach as well as a mentor to many young people on career development matters.


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