On 28 February 2020, scholars, disarmament experts, educators, young students and human rights activists gathered at the United Nations in New York to discuss one central question: “What can we do to make wars come to an end?” This year’s Committee on Teaching About the United Nations (CTAUN) Conference, co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, was entitled “WarNoMore”, honouring the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and its purpose as outlined in the Charter: “We the Peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”
The CTAUN Conference is a platform for knowledge and experience-sharing and a unique event where participants can share personal stories, exchange ideas, and seek solutions together.
“We have an enthusiastic group here today”, CTAUN Chair Anne-Marie Carlson stated when she welcomed the participants. This enthusiasm was carried forward throughout the day as inspired people of all ages, representing different cultures, nations and backgrounds discussed what can be done to make our planet a safe, secure, and peaceful place to live.
After welcoming remarks by Under-Secretary-General for Children in Armed Conflict Ms. Virginia Gamba and Ambassador Mr. Cho Hyun from the Republic of Korea, groups of experts took the floor, each tackling one of six major topics, namely Creating Peace; Peace Education and Transformative Education; New Technologies; Women, Peace and Security; Disarmament and World Peace Through Law.
The Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, joined the discussion on disarmament. The High Representative stressed how important it is to preserve and sustain disarmament processes, such as preventing the misuse and illicit trade of small arms and light weapons, as this contributes to saving lives. She also promoted the role of younger generations in disarmament discussions and processes, emphasizing that: “young people are the ultimate force for change.”
To stimulate youth involvement in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs team joined the CTAUN’s InfoFair and talked to participants about the #Youth4Disarmament Initiative, disarmament education and exciting opportunities to contribute to a safer and more peaceful world.
Author: Yury Medvedev