The successful negotiation of the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) has provided new political and legal impetus for disarmament education. The preamble specifically recognises “the importance of peace and disarmament education in all its aspects and of raising awareness of the risks and consequences of nuclear weapons for current and future generations, and committed to the dissemination of the principles and norms” of the TPNW. It also stress the role of UN, “International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, other international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, religious leaders, parliamentarians, academics and the hibakusha” as representatives of the “public conscience” in pressing for nuclear disarmament. This framing represents a welcome turn toward a more vigorous approach to disarmament and nonproliferation education.
Side event on killer robots at the UN, 18 October 2016. Photo courtesy of UNODA.
Director of Pace University’s International Disarmament Institute Matthew Bolton chaired a side event on autonomous weapons systems — “killer robots” — during the UN General Assembly First Committee 18 October 2016.
The event featured Ambassador Tehmina Janjua of Pakistan, chair of the upcoming Review Conference of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW); Mary Wareham, coordinator of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots; Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley; and Steve Goose, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Arms Division.
Panelists raised concerns about the security, humanitarian and human rights implications of growing autonomy in weapons systems.
To learn more about the event, read the write-up by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs or this flyer from the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.
Pace University student Rachel Salcedo ’17 addressing the United Nations General Assembly First Committee on disarmament education.
“Education can help empower the greater participation of youth, women, survivors of violence, and people from the Global South in peace and security policymaking,” Rachel Salcedo ’17, peace and justice studies major, told the United Nations General Assembly First Committee in a statement on disarmament and nonproliferation education.
She called attention to UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security, which calls for “inclusive representation of youth in decision-making…for the prevention and resolution of conflict” and “quality education for peace.”