Statement of the CTBTO Youth Group at the Tenth Meeting of the Friends of the CTBT

taking place in New York City on 21 September 2022

Your Excellency Prime Minister Kishida,

Executive Secretary Floyd, Excellencies,

  1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the CTBTO Youth Group—which my colleague Shizuka, from Japan, and me, Ahmed, from Egypt have joined for one clear purpose – to put an end to nuclear testing.  
  2. Our generation did not choose to live with nuclear weapons. Shizuka, born in Hiroshima, is involved in nuclear disarmament because she grew up listening to survivors of the bomb.  I come from the Middle East, where several countries, including my homeland, are yet to sign and ratify the Treaty.
  3. My region has been synonymous with conflict and crises, but also a region of hope, as my dream of a Middle East nuclear test free and WMD Free Zone has never faded.
  4. I am grateful for this invitation and for such high-level recognition of the role of youth. The CTBTO Youth Group is driven by the vision and objectives of the CTBTO. Since its launch in 2016, we amassed more than a thousand youth from 125 countries worldwide steered by a sense of ceasing the threat of nuclear proliferation.
  5. Earlier this month, the General Assembly adopted a resolution establishing the UN Youth office, which makes it unmistakable that the role of youth is critical in advancing human development and advocating for peace and security. We call on all governments to extend further connections with the next generation, talking with, rather than at us.
  6. We are asking for more dialogue that looks beyond narrow geopolitical interests. When the CTBT was opened for signature in 1996, most of the CTBTO Youth Group members were not even born. But we are eager to finish what the CTBT has started—and we will keep searching for every opportunity to call for the CTBT’s prompt entry into force and universalization.

Shizuka Kuramitsu

Ahmed Emad Elsabagh