Youth Participation in the recent CTBTO Science and Technology 2017 Conference

Sebastian Kohnen • 14 July 2017

The major conference, held every two years, provides a forum for the CTBTO and practitioners of the science and technologies that serve its verification systems to exchange knowledge and ideas.

More than 1000 participants from 120 countries took part in the five day event in the former imperial palace, the Hofburg, in Vienna, Austria. They included 70 members of the youth group, graduate and high school students, young scientists and others from 50 countries.

During the conference youth group members presented their work and their views on the CTBT to fellow members and other conference participants. A lively youth group South Asia workshop in support of the Treaty proposed ways to introduce the subject of nuclear non-proliferation to discussion in India and Pakistan, by reaching out to schools, media and parliamentarians. Certainly a highlight was also the Newsroom Project, in which CYG members wrote short pieces about specific topics of the conference, pieces like this.

While participating in the Newsroom Project, I asked one scientist and one diplomat attending the SnT2017 about their opinion of youth participating at the conference. An enthusiastic response followed immediately. Dr. Joachim Schulze, who is a scientist and Chairperson of Working Group B of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, told me: “It is a great idea! We should even increase the activity in this direction!” And a diplomat from Argentina said: “It is extremely useful to enhance the legitimacy of the CTBT, not only at the political level, but also at the public level.”

The CTBTO Youth Group with more than 200 members raises awareness of the CTBT whenever possible. We let our voice be heard and we want the CTBT to enter into force!
The SnT2017 Conference is over, but the youth engagement continues!

I am a CTBTO Youth Group member. Let’s finish what we started!

CTBTO Youth Group member Sebastian Kohnen,

14 July 2017