The Implementation Support Unit (ISU) of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) are delighted to open the call for applications to the 2020 – 2021 Biosecurity Diplomacy Workshop for Young Scientists from the Global South. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this 2nd Edition will mainly be held virtually between end November 2020 and mid-2021.
Disarmament is at the heart of the collective security system set out in the United Nations Charter, with its goal to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. In commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversaries of the establishment of the United Nations and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Office for Disarmament Affairs held the “75 Words for Disarmament Youth Challenge”, which was launched on 12 August, International Youth Day, and was closed on 26 September, the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. The challenge was open to young people between the ages of 13 and 29, with three age groups: 13 to 18 years (middle and high school), 19 to 24 years (college and graduate school) and 25 to 29 years (early career professionals).
Disarmament is at the heart of the collective security system set out in the Charter of the United Nations, with its goal to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”.
Disarmament is at the heart of the collective security system set out in the United Nations Charter, with its goal to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”. In commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversaries of the establishment of the United Nations and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Office for Disarmament Affairs is launching the “75 Words for Disarmament Youth Challenge”.
Today, we served as strong witnesses of the amazing work UNODA is doing to engage more youth in disarmament activities. We were really honoured to have been specially recognised and mentioned as the first group of 10 UN Youth Champions for Disarmament by the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu as she commenced her opening speech at the high level event “The Tenth NPT Review Conference: Youth and the NPT”. This gesture was definitely very encouraging for the entire group to receive such a special welcome at this prestigious event, it also shows that youth are making headway in being part of global decision making with regards to disarmament; this for us is an achievement for the youthful population.
Since its founding, the United Nations has given the highest priority to reducing and eventually eliminating weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, as well as controlling small arms and light weapons. With the rapid development of information and communications technology, the emergence of new concepts of security and threat, and the largest generation of young people in history, the need for education in disarmament and non-proliferation has never been greater.
On 28 February 2020, scholars, disarmament experts, educators, young students and human rights activists gathered at the United Nations in New York to discuss one central question: “What can we do to make wars come to an end?” This year’s Committee on Teaching About the United Nations (CTAUN) Conference, co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, was entitled “WarNoMore”, honouring the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and its purpose as outlined in the Charter: “We the Peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”
Education is a crucial element of the global disarmament process, and that is why it is important for the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) to support the next generation of leaders in this field through the UN’s internship programme. This is in line with the 2002 UN Study on Disarmament and Non-proliferation Education (A/57/124) which identified the objective to impart knowledge and skills to individuals to empower them to make their contribution, as national and world citizens, to the achievement of concrete disarmament and non-proliferation measures and the ultimate goal of general and complete disarmament under effective international control.
The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA) engaged approximately seventy young people in a wide-ranging discussion on youth action for disarmament to mark the 74th anniversary of the first UN General Assembly resolution, which established the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. The event was organized with the support from the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations.
How can disarmament contribute to saving lives? What are innovative solutions to break the cycle of armed violence? How does disarmament contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals?
These questions, and many more, were addressed during the #Youth4Disarmament event that took place at UN Headquarters on 26 November. Youth advocates engaged with officials from the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and civil society representatives on a range of disarmament related-topics, with a focus on the impact of illicit small arms and light weapons (SALW) and the proliferation of conventional weapons.
The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and the international NGO Peace Boat co-organized an event on Friday 11 October, coinciding with the UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security. Approximately 75 young people between the ages of 18 and 30 participated in the full-day programme, called “Youth Champions for Securing our Common Future”.
The event was part of UNODA’s “#Youth4Disarmament” initiative, aimed at connecting young people with experts to learn about today’s international security challenges, the work of the United Nations, and how they can become involved.
UNRCPD sponsored three International Youth Delegates from Myanmar, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka and two National Youth Delegates from Nepal for the 14th International Youth Media Summit, held this year in Pokhara, Nepal. The delegates worked with other international delegates to produce video public service announcements (PSAs) on themes such as discrimination, the environment, health, poverty, violence, women’s rights and youth empowerment showcasing the power of youth educating youth.
On 3-4 August, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs convened the Global South in Biosecurity Diplomacy workshop in Vevey, Switzerland. Twenty young scientists from the global south were selected in a competitive process. The workshop, that included expert speakers and facilitators, aimed at fostering Global South networks and cooperation in the fields of biosafety and biosecurity, increasing awareness about the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), and exposing young scientists to multilateral disarmament negotiations.
The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) launched its youth outreach initiative on 16 August. The first activity organized under this initiative brought together young people from across the New York area to UN Headquarters to join an expert-led discussion on the implications of artificial intelligence for international peace and security. The event was also organized in celebration of International Youth Day (12 August).
The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) partnered with the International Youth Media Summit (IYMS) for the launch of its 14th edition in Pokhara, Nepal.
UNODA hosted a discussion with Peace Boat U.S. on the issue of nuclear disarmament.
ODA held a “knowledge exchange” bringing together young professionals from its offices in New York, Geneva, and UNODA’s three Regional Centres for Peace and Disarmament (in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean) to share inspiring ideas for future projects.