On 16 August, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) engaged a group of 49 college students from the Republic of Korea on the topic of “Disarmament and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” The workshop was part of UNODA’s Disarmament and Non-proliferation Education efforts that aim to raise awareness on, and promote measures for, disarmament and non-proliferation education through engaging diverse audiences, including practitioners, educators, civil society organization and students. The session was also part of the World Federation of United Nations Associations’ biannual programme titled “WFUNA College Leaders at the UN”, which brings together college students from diverse background interested in promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies (SDG 16).
The event took place in the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and consisted of a presentation by Ms. Aude Feltz, Associate Political Affairs Officer of UNODA’s Conventional Arms Branch, and a briefing on youth engagement in disarmament by Ms. Marykate Monaghan, Youth Outreach Consultant with UNODA’s #Youth4Disarmament initiative.
Ms. Aude Feltz introduced the work of the Conventional Arms Branch and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which acknowledges the inextricable link between peace and development, recognizes that prevention and reduction of armed conflict and violence is key to sustainable development and vice versa and acknowledges that tackling the threats posed by illicit small arms is a necessary condition for sustainable development. She also explained the role of UNODA to (1) support the implementation of conventional arms control instruments, (2) support the UN transparency registers and (3) managing funding mechanisms and projects.
During the second half of the event, Ms. Marykate Monaghan discussed the critical role of young people in raising awareness and developing new approaches to reduce threats posed by weapons of mass destruction and conventional arms, including their proliferation. She also highlighted the programmes and activities provided by UNODA’s #Youth4Disarmament initiative to engage, educate and empower youth in disarmament. Ms. Marykate Monaghan noted that the initiative provides a combination of educational and creative activities to ensure youth of all backgrounds and interests can meaningfully participate in disarmament efforts.
Students engaged in a frank and open discussion with the presenters on ways that disarmament can contribute to building a safer, more sustainable future for all.
For further information, please contact Ms. Ji Yeon Rho, Associate Political Affairs Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information on disarmament and nonproliferation education of the Office for Disarmament Affairs, please contact Mr. Charles Ovink, Political Affairs Officer, at email@example.com.