Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education

Geneva, 11-15 March 2002

The ten experts preparing the United Nations Study on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education met for the third time at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, from 11–15 March 2002, for a special purpose. They hoped to incorporate contributions from educators, educational organizations and non-governmental organizations that might not have easy access to New York. The meeting succeeded in drawing together representatives from organizations deeply immersed in disarmament education and international security issues. Among them was disarmament educator Magnus Havelsrud of the Department of Education at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and editor of the book, Disarming: Discourses on Education and Peace.

A group of eager school children in one of the three primary level schools in N’Guigmi, Niger, during a visit by the coordinators of the disarmament education project sponsored by the Department of Disarmament Affairs in partnership with the Hague Appeal for Peace. A key element of the project will be the training of former combatants to operate a school and community radio broadcast devoted to peace and disarmament education in the local languages of Hausa, Kanouri and Toubou, as well as in French.

Other resources presented to the third session came from: the International Committee of the Red Cross which has given priority to its work in landmine education; the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute which has developed a teaching module for chemical and biological disarmament efforts; the University of Marne-La-Vallée in France which grants a master’s degree in armament at its Centre d’Etudes de Sécurité Internationale et de Maîtrise des armaments; and the PIR Center in Moscow which has developed full scale textbooks on nuclear non-proliferation and offers training to parliamentarians in Russia.

To gain a better insight into how to devise ways of introducing disarmament and non-proliferation education into post-conflict situations, the Group heard from persons engaged in the peace and disarmament process in Bougainville, the weapons for development programme in Albania and peace consolidation efforts in Ghana and Niger.

The Group of experts will receive future assistance in its work from the participation of the following UN agencies: UNICEF, UNESCO, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), the United Nations University (UNU) and the University for Peace (UPEACE), as well as these disarmament organizations: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organization (PC for CTBTO).
See Education Web site at UNODA.