Podcasts - Disarmament Today

Disarmament Today is a series of podcasts about present-day disarmament issues, produced by the Office for Disarmament Affairs.

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Youth leaders discuss how young people can act as “ultimate forces for change” in disarmament

We are celebrating and commemorating a range of milestones that have both advanced the role of young people in disarmament, and opened opportunities for the youth to make meaningful contributions within the field.

Ms. Marykate Monaghan, an intern with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), talks to five youth leaders from a range of different projects and initiatives, working with other young people to act as “the ultimate force for change.” They discuss the steps that they are taking to contribute to disarmament around the globe, and tips, suggestions, and resources for interested listeners to get involved themselves.

Guest speaker Ms. Su-Yin Lew from Australia is an advocate for nuclear disarmament and feminist foreign policy, who recently completed an internship with UNODA. Guests Ms. Kirsten Mosey from Canada and Ms. Palesa Mogorosi from South Africa are two of the ten Youth Champions for Disarmament, participating in an innovative learning programme, organised by UNODA’s #Youth4Disarmament initiative and funded by the Government of Germany, aimed at empowering them to work for disarmament in their communities. Finally, Ms. Khishigjargal (Khishi) Enkhbayar from Mongolia and Ms. Moe Sasaki from Japan are part of the Steering Committee of young leaders in Northeast Asia, brought together by UNODA and the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (UNDPPA) to design and co-facilitate a youth and disarmament workshop.

For more about UNODA’s #Youth4Disarmament initiative, visit the dedicated website here.


A conversation with the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs on International Women’s Day 2020

Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu is the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. As an International Gender Champion, she is highly committed to advancing the meaningful participation and inclusion of women in all disarmament decision-making processes.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, she speaks about the contribution of women in the field of disarmament and arms control. She highlights the need to build on past experiences with women’s involvement in such processes, from the 1963 Partial Test Ban Treaty to the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and for Member States, civil society and the UN alike to recommit to advancing gender parity and effectively integrating diverse perspectives and gender dimensions in disarmament fora and discussions. She addresses the gendered impact of weapons, encourages gender mainstreaming in disarmament, a more reflected debate on cyber security, and provides advice for women working in the field of disarmament.

Ms. Nakamitsu assumed her position as Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs on 1 May 2017.


A discussion on Nanotechnology with Dr. Jürgen Altmann

Dr Jürgen Altmann is a physicist and peace researcher who has worked since 1985 on scientific-technical problems of disarmament, in particular military-technology assessment and preventive arms control, one field being potential military applications of nanotechnology.

Dr Altmann is currently a Researcher and Lecturer at the Technical University of Dortmund, Physics and Disarmament Department.

His publications include:

  • J. Altmann, Military Nanotechnology: Potential Applications and Preventive Arms Control, Abingdon/New York: Routledge, 2006
  • J. Altmann, Nanotechnology and Preventive Arms Control, Forschung DSF No. 3, Osnabrück: Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung, 2005, (link to publication)
  • J. Altmann, Preventing Hostile and Malevolent Use of Nanotechnology – Military Nanotechnology After 15 Years of the US National Nanotechnology Initiative, in M. Martellini, A. Malizia (eds.), Cyber and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosives Challenges: Threats and Counter Efforts, Cham: Springer International, 2017
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An interview with Ms. Shorna-Kay Richards on: GENDER and DISARMAMENT

Ms. Shorna-Kay Richards is the Deputy Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations in New York. She is a career diplomat and has been a member of the Jamaica Foreign Service since September 1994.

In her current assignment to the United Nations, she deals primarily with issues relating to disarmament and international security. As Jamaica's representative to the UN First Committee on Disarmament and Security and the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) UN First Committee Coordinator for 2013, her experience includes participation in the Arms Trade Treaty negotiations; serving as Vice-Chair of the UN Disarmament Commission in 2013; and articulating CARICOM's position on international security and disarmament, as well as coordinating CARICOM's participation in the Fifth Biennial Meeting of States to consider the implementation of the UN Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light weapons. She also coordinated Jamaica's chairmanship of the First Committee during its 69th Session in 2014. She is now actively engaged in coordinating Jamaica's chairmanship of the Sixth Biennial Meeting of States scheduled for June 2016.

She was a United Nations fellow on disarmament in 2005.


An interview with Ms. Setsuko Thurlow, Atomic Bomb Survivor and Special Communicator for a World Without Nuclear Weapons

Setsuko Thurlow has been appointed by the Government of Japan as a special communicator for a world without nuclear weapons. She was born and raised in Hiroshima and experienced the atomic bombing at the age of 13. She remembers vividly the 6th of August 1945, the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and the hardships she and many survivors endured physically and mentally thereafter. Subsequent to the atomic bombing, she started attending a local Christian church in Hiroshima in the hope of finding meaning in her life. Professionally, she practiced social work in the USA and Canada.

As a survivor of the atomic bombing, she is strongly committed to tell the story of Hiroshima. Most survivors are getting old and many are passing away, leaving a smaller number of Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) to tell their stories. Ms. Thurlow feels it is imperative to tell the younger generations of that terrible day and its aftermath. This is one of the reasons why she joined a non-governmental organization called "Hibakusha Stories" which passes the legacy of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to a new generation, and empowers them with tools to build a world free of nuclear weapons.

She is married with two sons and two granddaughters and currently lives in Canada. She has devoted over 40 years of her life to nuclear disarmament. Photo Credit: Emilie McGlone, Peace Boat


An interview with Ms. Theresa Hitchens on: SPACE SECURITY

Theresa Hitchens has been Director of UNIDIR since January 2009. Previously, she was director of the Center for Defense Information and led its Space Security Project, in cooperation with Secure World Foundation. The author of Future Security in Space: Charting a Cooperative Course, she has written on space and nuclear arms control issues for a number of journals and publications. She serves on the editorial board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Theresa has had a long career in journalism, with a focus on military, defence industry and NATO affairs. She was Director of Research at the British American Security Information Council, a think tank based in Washington and London. Prior to that, she was with Defense News from 1988 to 2000, including five years as the newspaper's first Brussels bureau chief from 1989 to 1993, and as the Editor from 1998 to 2000. From 1983 to 1988, she worked at Inside Washington Publishers, covering issues from nuclear waste to electronic warfare and military space.


An interview with Dr. Kathleen Sullivan on: DISARMAMENT AND NON-PROLIFERATION EDUCATION

Kathleen Sullivan, PhD., is a disarmament educator and activist who has been engaged in nuclear issues for over 20 years. Currently, she is the Program Director for Hibakusha Stories, an arts based initiative that brings atomic bomb survivors into New York City High Schools to share their testimonies. She has been an education consultant to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs in New York, and has produced 2 films about survivors from Nagasaki: The Last Atomic Bomb (2005) and The Ultimate Wish (coming soon).