Global Youth Forum on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
In collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand, PEAC Institute convened the Global Youth Forum on the Treaty of the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons from December 5, 2018, to December 7, 2018. An orientation was held on December 4, 2018. The forum was held in conjunction with the high-level Pacific Conference. Ms. Rebecca Irby, President of PEAC Institute; and Mr. Christian N. Ciobanu, the UN Representative of PEAC Institute, co-organized the youth forum.
The participants included: youth from the Pacific Islands (New Zealand, Fiji, Kiribati, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, and the Marshall Islands), and international youth from Japan and the US (Meiji Gakuin University, Rutgers University, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University respectively).
During the 2019 Session of the UN General Assembly's First Committee, our outstanding interns, James Hannan, Alei Rizvi, and Hayley Payea monitored the plenary meetings. James Hannan shared his experience on our youth blog.
PEAC Institute is planning to revamp the Hibakusha Appeal.
PEAC Institute is also organizing our youth expedition to the 2019 NPT PrepCom. Our students will cover plenary meetings, meet with diplomats, and work on the Youth Presentation.
Please Stay Tuned for Exciting Updates!!!
The United Nations to Yale, UPenn, and back again!;
Some highlights from our last few weeks.
The Hibakusha Appeal
We helped present over 8,000,000 signatures to the United Nations in support of the Hibakusha Appeal for the Total Eliminations of Nuclear Weapons, participated in the Yale International Policy Contest, and co-organized the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Peace Project Conference.
It was such an honor that our President, Rebecca Irby, was invited to join Hidankyo Japan in presenting 8,300,403 signatures to Ambassador Ion Jinga, Chair of the First Committee,at the United Nations on behalf of the Hibakusha Appeal for the total abolition of nuclear weapons. Yes, you read that right, over 8 Million!
Yale International Policy Competition
On October 14, Rebecca Irby, President of PEAC Institute; and Christian N. Ciobanu, PEAC UN Representative, shared their inspirational work and judged students' presentations about Security Issues on the South China Sea. During the Career Forum, Rebecca Irby explained how and why she co-founded PEAC Institute. She also shared her views on nuclear disarmament activism and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. She further encouraged students that they can make a difference by becoming activists.
Penn Peace Project Conference on Nuclear Disarmament
On October 23, the University of Pennsylvania's International Affairs Association and PEAC Institute co-organized the annual Penn Project Conference. This conference was geared toward educating the Penn community about current issues involving international peace, particularly the growing relevance of nuclear disarmament and the recent creation and debate over the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
The speakers for the event were: Ms. Veronique Christory, Senior Arms Control Advisor of the International Committee of the Red Cross; Ambassador Dell Higgie of New Zealand; Dr. Carlos Umana, President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War Costa Rica and Director at Large of IPPNW; and Ms. Susanne Hammer, Austria's Disarmament Expert in Geneva. Mr. Christian N. Ciobanu of PEAC Institute chaired the symposium. Rebecca Irby of PEAC Insitute gave introductory remarks. Pablo Golac, Director of IAA's Academic Affairs, also delivered remarks. PEAC Institute is proud that we co-organized the event.
Watch the whole UPenn Peace Conference here!
Pace University Youth Statement on Peace Education
During the First Committee, Pace University students delivered a strong statement on disarmament and nonproliferation education on behalf of numerous groups. PEAC Institute endorsed its statement.
As part of the statement, the students emphasized "the importance for states and civil society to provide education not only about disarmament but for disarmament. If targeted well, disarmament education can help empower the greater participation of youth, women, survivors of violence and people from the Global South in peace and security policymaking."
They further mentioned that "disarmament education can and should emphasize the humanitarian, human rights and environmental consequences of arms, militarism and armed conflict. It should seek to empower the next generation of leaders to seek peace and alternative conflict resolution processes rather than relying on violence and war. In doing so, disarmament education should be connected to and serve the broader goal of making the world a more peaceful, just and sustainable place for us all."
Therefore, they recommended that states should:
Support efforts to establish platforms for youth engagement
Promote greater connections between disarmament education and the empowerment of youth, as per Security Council Resolution 2250
Strengthen their disarmament education efforts and activities and be proactive in sharing what they have been doing
Provide funding and institutional support to international organizations, civil society, and educational institutions providing disarmament and nonproliferation education
Expand volunteer, internship, fellowship and professional opportunities for students and young people pursuing vocations in disarmament and nonproliferation
Implement disarmament and non-proliferation education in ways that are sensitive to human rights, gender, and differential access
To read the entire statement, please click here.
The Jonathan Schell Memorial Lecture on the Fate of the Earth: Beatrice Fihn
In September, PEAC Institute was thrilled to attend a special event at the New School, featuring Ms. Beatrice Fihn, the Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize-winning campaign coalition that works to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons.
PEAC Institute is a proud partner organization of ICAN.
PEAC Institute started back in 2016 as a reaction to my time spent in Japan. I was working there and visited Hiroshima on a long weekend. I was so taken aback by what I learned there from a Hibakusha, a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing.
Although I had no experience in filmmaking I decided to make a documentary about the Hibakusha and why we need to all be concerned about and fight for the total abolition of nuclear weapons! Now, at the time people said I was crazy and idealistic. "this is impossible, it's never going to happen". This is the type of talk that is ALWAYS prevalent when any kind of abolition is on the table. I knew there were others who felt as passionately as I did so instead of being discouraged I found my people.
ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, was full of "young, idealistic" people just like me. And you guessed it - WE DID IT! ICAN won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for.....the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. 122 nations have signed so far.
Drawing upon ICAN's success, it is clear that young people have a significant voice in the field of international peace and security. We train our students to become activists and in turn, they get more people involved. It's a ripple effect and it started with you! Thank you for being a part of our project!!
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