Last year, the Pacific Islands Society launched a new program entitled the Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament. The program was designed to provide young leaders from the Pacific Islands Region with an opportunity to have their voice heard on contemporary disarmament topics.
In partnership with the Federation of American Scientists, Emerging Science and Technology Policy Centre, Center for Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Studies (CANZPS) at Georgetown University, and Pacific Society at SOAS,the 2013 program welcomed young leaders from American Samoa and Papua New Guinea last spring.
Since then, the participants have been exploring the complex world of diplomacy and disarmament under the careful mentorship of senior diplomats from a number of diplomatic missions in Geneva. Additional mentorship was also provided by academics, think tank fellows, and outside experts .
Today, we are pleased to conclude the program with the publication of their “Statements to the Conference on Disarmament.” These statements reflect the personal views of the participants on how the Conference on Disarmament can better advance the global discourse on disarmament and thereby promote the interests of the Pacific Islands Region.
These statements are the latest in a series of writing assignments conducted as part of the program. This includes previous opinion pieces for the FAS Blog that challenged the young leaders to consider both sides of the debate on the future of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament.
In the next few weeks, these statements will be printed, bound, and delivered to diplomatic missions in Geneva and to various members of Congress in the United States. A copy will also be provided to the SOAS Library for archival purposes.
Following the success of the inaugural class of Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament, the Pacific Islands Society will announce a call for 2014-2015 Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament in September of this year.
In addition to the Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament Program, the Pacific Islands Society will be launching two new programmes this spring, namely the Pacific Young Leaders on Trade and Investment and the Pacific Young Leaders on Public Diplomacy. Applications for participants in the 2014-2015 inaugural class will open 1st May 2014.
About the Scholars:
Charity Anna Porotesano recently graduated from Grinnell College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. In 2012, The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation recognized her exceptional leadership potential when she was made a Truman Scholar. Porotesano has since returned to her home of American Samoa to work in education and serve as a youth representative on the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. Charity’s statement is available here (PDF).
Keiko Ono is a recent graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and Development Studies. Of Papua New Guinean-Japanese decent, Ono has a strong interest in gender, development and diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific region. She also cares passionately about access to higher education having served as the elected Co-President the future of SOAS 2012-2013, where she played a central role in the management and oversight role in over 190 student-led activities. Keiko’s statement is available here (PDF).
Inquiries about any the 2013-14 PYL-D Program – Contact: [email protected]
Opportunities to Support the 2014-15 PYL-D Program – Contact: [email protected]