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Education and Research on Global Disarmament Policy

Pace University Student Addresses UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament Education


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.”

Rachel completed a Wilson Center-funded internship with PAX, which “works to build just and peaceful societies across the globe” this past summer. Her experience in advocacy at the UN meant civil society organizations involved in disarmament issues enthusiastically put her name forward for this honor.

Emily Welty, PhD, director of peace and justice studies in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, also delivered a speech that same afternoon, an inter-faith statement on nuclear weapons.

“Nuclear weapons are incompatible with the values upheld by our faith traditions which are also foundational elements in international lawthe right of people to live in security and dignity; the duty to protect the vulnerable and to safeguard the planet for current and future generations,” said Welty, who serves as vice-moderator of the World Council of Churches Commission on International Affairs.

The UN General Assembly First Committee deliberates on issues of disarmament and international security, forwarding draft resolutions on for vote by the General Assembly Plenary. It meets every year for about a month, usually in October.

Behind the scenes, Pace students assisted advocacy organizations calling on governments in the First Committee to better respect for human rights and humanitarian law. For example, Tiffany Moton ’18 and Syuyumbika “Susha” Galimova ’17 are volunteering with PAX. They are among 17 students placed in service-learning assignments with organizations working in and around the UN system as part of a class on the Global Politics of Disarmament and Arms Control, taught this fall by Matthew Bolton, PhD, associate chair of political science.

Chanda Daniels ’16, who graduated in May, has also been working in First Committee, taking notes and monitoring proceedings for Reaching Critical Will, a disarmament project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Pace University was featured in UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s report on disarmament and non-proliferation education in August, recognizing Pace’s “growing role in disarmament education”, highlighting the Model UN program, the Peace and Justice Studies major, research by Pace faculty, Disarmament Forums hosted at Pace, and a UN-funded project providing training to East African officials on the Arms Trade Treaty.

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