Final Thoughts – 国連軍縮会議in静岡を振り返って

After nearly 6 months of preparation, the day finally arrived for the students to present on all that we have learned on disarmament in the months leading up to the Conference. In addition to the previous updates from Shoko and Aye, I would like to share with you several things that I have learned over the course of the Final Session.

Following the presentation, during the question-answer session, we were fortunate enough to have four experts give an assessment as well as comments and suggestions on our presentation. Mr. Kurosawa emphasized the breadth of the concept of “security”. Security occurs on a number of different levels, including global, state, environmental, as well as personal and human security. It is difficult for one to imagine an individual who struggles to keep food on his table possessing the time or energy to worry about the broader issues of peace or disarmament.

I have learned that disarmament is at the core of world peace. If we cannot make meaningful steps to fulfill the goals of disarmament, there will always remain a threat to peace. Security must be pursued at every level to ensure the existence of peace. Conversely, peace can create a better world only when security at every level is assured, and to make this happen the core goals of disarmament must be pursued.

I feel very lucky to have been able to take part in the 24th UN Conference on Disarmament Issues in Shizuoka. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the UN Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, Shizuoka City, Ms. Hakamata, and my fellow classmates for this opportunity. And finally, to Brad Halt at the UNRCPD for his help in editing and facilitating this blog.




この会議に参加できて本当にラッキーだと思っています。ここで、国連連合アジア太平洋平和軍縮センター、静岡市、袴田先生と一緒に参加させていただいた「話っ、輪っ、和っ!」のスタッフのみなさん、そしてブログの編集を助けていただいたBrad Halt さんにお礼を申し上げたいと思います。




Day 3 – 第3回


I was also fortunate enough to participate in the World Student Disarmament Meeting at the Conference on Disarmament Issues. The session featured 8 participants who came from different backgrounds. It was an amazing experience to sit up there and openly express our opinions on disarmament issues while recognizing how different upbringings influenced our perceptions of these issues. The ability to hear the response of the distinguished experts and observers to our presentation was an extra element that made the experience all the more valuable.

The first of the three themes covered in the special session related to disarmament education and our thoughts on these issues. The finer details of disarmament remain relatively new to us, though the concept of peace is not. We cannot overstate our desire for world peace, and recognizing that these two issues are intertwined makes disarmament education all the more important to us. The second theme addressed the many elements that we perceive as requisite to one day achieving world peace. After exchanging opinions on the matter, I believe trust and mutual understanding are the most important elements of peace. The last theme was devoted to expressing our thoughts on how religious beliefs and upbringing can be utilized to achieve world peace. I believe that a combination of religion, understanding and tolerance can foster world peace. Embracing these values can also affect ones thinking on the role of disarmament as a vehicle to one day achieving world peace.

Finally, I want to talk about my favorite phrase in the presentations. It is: “Peace is not the goal, it is the way.” Each one of us has a role in embracing peace as a way of life, and in so doing bringing us one step close to world peace. Thank you for reading!

Your student blogger,










Day 3 – 第3回

Today was the big day – our student presentation!! I felt exceptionally nervous about giving a speech in front of so many experts and observers, but I was so glad that we could present our thoughts on the future of disarmament on such a distinguished stage.

As you know, it is very difficult to promote and implement the goals of disarmament. However, today’s presentation by students from many different states represents the type of cross-border cooperation that politicians will need to embrace in order to achieve the goals of disarmament. I have hope for this and believe that decision-makers can take a lesson from the student presentation today.

My favorite phrase in the presentation was: “If I have friends all over the world, when the friend’s country begins a war, I would think how to avoid a war. Having contact with people around the world will change the conscious of each and every person and change the world.” In fact, through making foreign friends, I’ve developed an interest in the countries from which they are from. I also get worried about negative events that occur in countries I’ve visited.

It may be too simplistic, but I believe that mutual understanding brings us closer to peace. I hope that our feelings reached many people! Thank you.

Your student blogger,








Day 2, Post 2 – 昨日の国連軍縮会議ブログ(その2)

After lunch, the Conference continued with Session 6: Role of Civil Society. Dr Tilman Ruff surprised me with his opening remarks when he apologized for the fact that much of the leaked nuclear fuel in the world originated from his home country of Australia. As the Chair of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) he wasted no time to lift the mood of crowd by enlightening us to the positive developments achieved in recent years on disarmament issues. A very good example was the military co-operation between America and New Zealand. Under pressure, New Zealand stood firm on its ban on nuclear powered ships from entering its ports. Though this position initially generated tension, these two countries continue to be military partners.  Once again, this reflects the fact that though progress on disarmament doesn’t come easily, it is possible.

In the last session of Day 2, Prof Kazumi Mizumoto presented on the ‘Prospects for Future Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education’. Mr Mizumoto insisted on the importance of education once again, and illustrated a number of ideas that could be implemented not only in Japan but across the globe. After his talk, the audience had the chance to raise questions and give their opinions. 

I don’t think I have ever learned so much in one day. A little tired after it all, but definitely worth it in the end!






Day 2 – 第2回

I was fortunate enough to be present for today’s Session 4: Nuclear Safety and Security. Mr. Gustavo Caruso, Head of the Nuclear Safety Action Team with the IAEA, gave an exciting talk on the background of the IAEA and the role of the organization following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) accident. I was informed of the tireless efforts of the IAEA to ensure the safety of NPPs, and came to realize the importance of disaster preparation and NPP safety. A thorough review of the rules and regulations governing NPPs and an increased role for the IAEA in the process appeared a great idea to me!

Ambassador Bonnie D. Jenkin’s presentation on Nuclear Terrorism highlighted to me the serious threats posed by nuclear terrorism not only in Asia, but across the entire globe. Just the terms ‘nuclear weapons’ and ‘terrorists’ used in the same sentence function as a reminder of the potential fallout if the two were ever truly combined. For this reason, initiatives such as Resolution 1540 should be pursued with the utmost priority.

Mr. Miles Pomper’s presentation illuminated an interesting and personal issue for me – the ongoing reprocessing of nuclear fuel in Japan when the future of nuclear power in the country remains uncertain. It seems to me that, as the country seeks to recover from the Fukushima fallout, it is only digging deeper the hole from which it is trying to escape. Similarly, increasing domestic stocks of plutonium surely functions as a poor example for other countries.

The notion of a ‘nuclear renaissance’ strikes me as a real concern following the Fukushima accident – it seems odd to me that though the world should be more alert to the dangers associated with nuclear power, countries continue to increase their reliance on it in order to meet new demands when they should be seeking sustainable and renewable sources of energy. The emergence of certain international developments that could damper the nuclear renaissance provided me with a slight relief, though I do hope the advent of a ‘nuclear renaissance’ never comes to be.Through the images on her presentation slides, Ms. Kay Kitazawa drove home the lessons of 03/11/2011 and the Fukushima fallout.

I’ve learned that the issues associated with nuclear technology run deep and are not only limited to civilian uses of nuclear energy. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative are just two of many efforts made in an attempt to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Today reminded me that even though a world free of the risks associated with nuclear weapons and a reliance on nuclear energy is a long way off, we must continue to believe and never lose hope!

Your student blogger,







Day 1 – 第1回

Today, I was fortunate enough to sit in on Session 3: “Small Arms and Light Weapon Control”. According to a UN report on small arms and light weapons by government experts, there are three types of small arms, including those “small arms” which can be transported by an individual, “light weapons” which are often vehicle mounted and mobile, and high explosives. These weapons form the broad category of weaponry entitled Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and are possessed, both legally and illegally, in massive quantities by militant groups, non-government actors and human rights abusers. I was shocked to hear that these weapons account for over half a million civilian deaths every year.

In fact, small arms are called “de facto mass-destruction weapons”. Small arms not only intensify conflicts, but also disturb humanitarian relief operations and foster the recurrence of disputes. I heard that in order to solve this problem, we need a very elaborate solution. I feel a robust Arms Trade Treaty would constitute a step in the right direction.

Like nearly all non-proliferation and disarmament issues, stemming the illegal flow of SALW is extremely difficult. SALW ultimately represent an impediment to one day attaining world peace. I feel exceptionally honored to have the opportunity to actively participate in seeking a solution to a global issue as important as peace and disarmament through this Conference.

Honorary Conference Blogger and Student,
Honma Yoshiki






Vincent – ヴィンセント

Thank you everyone for visiting this blog. I am Vincent, a Malaysian who has been studying in Japan for the past 5 years. I had very little knowledge of the issue of “disarmament” prior to being offered the chance to take part in the Conference on Disarmament Issues. For this, I feel very lucky as this is my last year as a student and taking part in the “Special Session: World Student Peace Meeting” on the final day of the Conference represents an incredible opportunity.

Malaysia is a multiracial country in which the people enjoy the right to freedom of religion. Having grown up in such a lovely and peaceful country, and having had the chance to serve in the Malaysian National Service, I’ve come to appreciate the merits of military service, even in a peaceful country like Malaysia. After much debate and discussion with my fellow classmates, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of disarmament issues as well. Hearing the opinion of specialists from around the world at the Conference on Disarmament Issues will undoubtedly be a mind blowing experience from which I expect to learn much.

I will be blogging here on the 2nd day of the Conference. Stay tuned!