UNODA helps host educational event on disarmament

The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and the Federal Ministry for European and International Affair of Austria hosted on August 22 an educational event on disarmament.

The event was titled "Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education" and took place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The event was a part of the "Open-ended Working Group to Take Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations for the Achievement and Maintenance of a World without Nuclear Weapons."

The Director of the CD Secretariat & Conference Support Branch Jarmo Sareva chaired the event. His opening remarks highlighted UNODA's promotion of disarmament through through conferences, web content, media events, workshops and publications. Sareva also described UNODA's plans for an online learning program about the consequences of armed violence.

Representatives of disarmament organizations discussed nuclear weapon education and how their organizations approach disarmament. Six recommendations were proposed to the United Nations, including initiatives to help promote disarmament to the youth through an International Youth Conference, to teach nuclear disarmament in higher education and to improve the U.N. Academic Impact program.

The representatives discussed how to engage the public in the fight against proliferation. The leaders found that showing the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons helps increase support for disarmament and non-proliferation.

"Disarmament and non-proliferation do not tend to trigger the sense of urgency they deserve," Sareva said. "Education will continue to help realize that sense of urgency, as well as provide the expertise necessary to bring us closer to a world free of nuclear weapons."