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United Nations ‘Youth Champions for Disarmament’ Arrive at New York Headquarters

Six young professionals from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America arrived at United Nations Headquarters in New York this week to begin a 10-day immersive experience in the field of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control.

The “youth champions for disarmament”, who are between the ages of 18 and 24, plan to apply their talents to help raise awareness and promote change for a more peaceful and secure world.  They were selected from among 6,515 applicants in 157 countries.

In two five-day study visits to New York (7–11 March) and Geneva (14–18 March), the youth champions for disarmament will meet with officials from organizations that support multilateral treaties, promote scientific and technical cooperation, and verify adherence to international norms in the areas of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control.

Their travel marks the third and final phase of the first-of-its-kind United Nations Youth Champions for Disarmament Training Programme, launched in 2020.  The Programme’s first phase included a year of training on the general principles of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control, taught both through online courses and by guest experts from think tanks, civil society organizations and the diplomatic field.  During the Programme’s second phase, the youth champions developed and implemented projects to engage their local communities on disarmament-related issues.

The United Nations Youth Champions for Disarmament Training Programme is a direct response to the call made by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to empower youth, recognizing them as “the ultimate force for change” and noting their proven power in supporting the cause of disarmament.  The Security Council and the General Assembly have also reaffirmed the important and positive contribution that young people can make to the promotion and attainment of sustainable development, peace and security.

The United Nations Youth Champions for Disarmament Training Programme is funded through generous financial support from the Government of Germany.

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