The following reflection is from Mandi Karpo ‘23, a Pace University Political Science major who participated in the POL297L Global Politics of Disarmament and Arms Control class in Fall 2021. Students were given service learning assignments with disarmament advocacy organizations working in and around the UN Students were given service learning assignments with disarmament advocacy organizations working in and around the UN and New York City. Mandi’s assignment was with Reaching Critical Will, the disarmament program of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), the oldest women’s peace organization in the world.
My assignment involved monitoring the Fall 2021 session of the United Nations General Assembly First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) and writing up articles on youth and disarmament. I learned that First Committee comprises people just like you and me. However, a certain status, validity, and credibility allow these specific individuals to make decisions that affect massive populations. What goes on during these meetings has grown too complicated for the ordinary person to give attention or care.
Thus, I have learned the first and foremost important concept about myself; I am a tiny fish in a very large pond.
However, some organizations have enabled people like me to gain accessible information about what goes on in deep waters, no longer sheltering myself within my bubble of educational ignorance.