October 8, 2021
Pace University undergraduate student Jeremiah Williams ’23 delivered a statement on youth engagement and disarmament education to the UN General Assembly First Committee (Disarmament and International Security), 8 October 2021.
“More than 40% of the world’s population is under the age of 25, most of whom live in the Global South. We are not just ‘the future,’ young people are also here now,” said Political Science major Williams, speaking on behalf of 34 global civil society organizations and campaigns, including two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. “We have the right to intergenerational equity, with a voice in the international community.”
The statement was drafted by Dyson College of Arts and Sciences students Taylor Mangus ’23 and Williams, who together lead the Pace Debates team. They had input from Pace University’s Global Politics of Disarmament and Arms Control class and diverse youth and disarmament education stakeholders around the world. They received support from Dr. Matthew Breay Bolton, director of Pace’s International Disarmament Institute and Dr. Emily Welty, director of the Peace and Justice Studies program.
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September 17, 2021
In 2019, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted its first resolution “Youth, disarmament and non-proliferation,” calling for “meaningful and inclusive participation of young people in discussions … of disarmament and non- proliferation.” The General Assembly has also adopted a biennial resolution on “Disarmament and non-proliferation education” since 2000, including last year.
In a new policy brief published in Reaching Critical Will’s First Committee Briefing Book, Pace’s International Disarmament Institute recommends strengthening the resolution on youth and disarmament, by:
- Incorporating recommendations of the 2021 Seoul Youth Declaration and 2020 joint civil society statement, particularly those regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion;
- Drawing linkages between youth, disarmament, and other pressing issues such as climate action; and
- Addressing concerns raised by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The brief also provides a detailed review of the importance of youth and disarmament and disarmament education agendas for year’s UN General Assembly First Committee, as well as the upcoming Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).