“PATHWAYS”, a film sponsored by United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD), won the ‘A Better Tomorrow’ best short film at Buff Children and Youth Film Festival in Sweden. The Buff film festival is dedicated to the promotion of media created by youth for a young audience, offering a varied program of international films that give children and youth a broader range of thematic content in films. “PATHWAYS” will be shown during their festival on March 24th.
How the Film Came About
In the late summer of 2019, UNRCPD sponsored three International Youth Delegates from Myanmar, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka and two National Youth Delegates from Nepal to attend the International Youth Media Summit in order to learn how to use film making to raise awareness on critical social issues. UNRCPD’s peace and disarmament education coordinator, Jane E. Lawson, mentored the Violence Issue Group helping youth delegates understand the push and pull factors to armed violence and how important it is to consider broader concepts of peace and security when looking at conflict prevention. As a result, the Violence Issue Group developed a Public Service Announcement film entitled “PATHWAYS”.
UNRCPD helped the young filmmakers learn how to communicate ideas of non-violence framed through a disarmament and arms control education lens. During the making of “PATHWAYS,” the youth delegates shared their personal stories and experiences of armed violence and discussed how different forms of violence such as gender-based violence, bullying, exclusion, and structural violence can invite armed violence into communities. They felt personally motivated to tell a story that showcases how exposure to violence throughout a young person’s life can ultimately affect their relationship with the world. Since August, the young filmmakers have been showing the video and engaging in discussions in their schools and communities.
Urgent need to address illicit flows of small arms and light weapons
The news of the win comes coincides with a Security Council briefing given by the UN’s disarmament head, Izumi Nakamitsu, last week. Ms. Nakamitsu noted that nearly 50 percent of all violent deaths between 2010 and 2015, more than 200,000 each year, involved small arms and light weapons. Illicit small arms and light weapons are factors in a large range of human rights violations, including the killing and maiming of children, rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence. She urged the council that the issue needs to remain a priority and that the root causes of illicit arms flows should be examined as a matter of urgency.
Advocacy and outreach tools and materials created by youth, such as the short film “PATHWAYS”, can open discussion spaces for young men and women where they can share their views on, and experiences with, the varied dimensions of violence and conflict and explore how youth can practically work towards ending armed violence. UNRCPD remains committed to disarmament education activities that work with youth to promote and motivate action and responsibility to ensure their generation can shape the world.
For further information, please contact Ms. Jane E. Lawson, Peace and Disarmament Education Coordinator for the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and Pacific at firstname.lastname@example.org.