Jakob Domenig is a 15 year old high school student from Gaenserndorf near Vienna who is about to join the CTBTO Youth Group (CYG); we asked him to write about his first impressions of the group’s involvement in the 2017 SnT conference.
I find it exciting that the youth group has members from so many different countries. And also that some of them are from countries that have neither signed nor ratified the Treaty. Many of these CYG members could become the next leaders of their countries.
They are people who may have just finished their doctorate theses or even people like me who are in high school and are just concerned about nuclear proliferation and putting an end to nuclear testing.
You could say that the CYG is an activist group. It’s a network for people who are interested and want to change something. This network is important because how else could you bring people from all over the world together? The CTBTO works as a kind of “host” for the Youth Group.
That means for example that the organization provides it with access to its conferences and learning materials.
Another project of the CYG is the newsroom. This is what I’m writing for now. The newsroom is an experiment whose challenge is to provide understanding to people who have no prior technical knowledge and don’t even know what the Treaty is. Such understanding is also an important role in convincing all countries that they should support the Treaty. If enough youth want the Treaty to enter into force, adults can’t ignore it.
To conclude, I would say that one of the problems of the CTBT and its ratification is that the public and even governments don’t understand its importance. Today’s youth WILL be the leaders of the future. The conviction of the adults of the future could be sufficient to make governments listen.
CTBTO Youth Group member Jakob Domenig,
Vienna, 29 June 2017