Education and Outreach Conference Hosted by the OPCW

24 September 2014
The opening plenary of the Education for Peace: New Pathways for Securing Chemical Disarmament

The opening plenary of the Education for Peace: New Pathways for Securing Chemical Disarmament

The OPCW hosted an international conference on 22-23 September 2014, entitled Education for Peace: New Pathways for Securing Chemical Disarmament.  The conference brought together some 120 experts from government, science, industry, academia and civil society from more than 40 countries to exchange information on improving education and outreach in disarmament and non-proliferation, and to discuss ways in which to sustain activities and initiatives in this area.

In addressing participants [PDF – 35 KB], the Director-General noted that, “We need to reach more people more effectively – not only to help them understand how disarmament contributes to international peace and security, but also to empower them as stakeholders in this common venture.”  Ambassador Üzümcü outlined the range of activities undertaken by the OPCW and launched the OPCW’s resource centre for students and teachers.

Chair of the Board of Oxfam International and former Dutch Defence Minister, Dr Joris Voorhoeve, also addressed the conference as a keynote speaker.

Panel discussions addressed ways of developing synergies between institutions and organisations, sourcing new education tools and materials, fostering a culture of responsible science, and mapping out professional codes of conduct.  Interaction with science centres and avenues for harnessing new media to reach a broader public were also covered.

During the conference, the OPCW laid open its facilities for a simulation organised by the Student Amsterdam Model United Nations by way of practical engagement of a key target audience.  Several visual and other resources were also showcased, such as the Fires film project, the OPCW’s e-learning tools and a reading from a play about the use of chemical weapons during World War One.

Presentations are available on the conference website.  A reference document outlining basic principles and best practices in relation to disarmament education and outreach will be circulated shortly.
 

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