Aug 18: At Forum Alpbach, I have held many workshops and talks. Here I was part of My Europe, My Story, which aimed to help young people ‘sharpen their tools for discussing European issues they are passionate about.’ Many thanks to my Art of Hosting partner, Alexander Porsch. (Photo credit: © Laurent Ziegler / Forum Alpbach)
July 18: Doing some organizational development consulting in Mallorca. Fun people and great location.
June 18: Making cool plans for the European Forum Alpbach. I will be there the whole two weeks this year, giving workshops to scholarship recipients and coordinating a multimedia project on refugee issues.
May 18: Moderated a cyber-security panel discussion at Webster Private University Vienna. The live-streamed event focused on gender-oriented hate speech.
Mar 18: Airing of our television segment ‘Keeping Slovenian Culture Alive.’ Interview with Fr. Krizolog Cimerman and Sonja Kert-Wakounig; shot in studio and on location at St. Cyril Parish, NY. Producer / Director: Gloria Messer. I produced and hosted the segment.
Jan 18: Very cool shot of our conference room, my favorite at UN Vienna – C3. All three days of the event were well-attended by women and men of all ages. (photo credit: APA Fotoservice / Schedl)
Jan 18: The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation’s Klaus Unterberger (Public Value) and Andreas Pfeifer (Intl. News) on stage. Karuna Parajuli discussed the role of women in post-armed-conflict, peace-building efforts. (photo credit: Webster Vienna Private University)
Nov 17: 49th Session of CTBTO Preparatory Commission taking place here in Vienna right now. DPRK nuclear tests are a hot topic. The importance of education in Achieving Entry into Force also on the table; can’t wait to launch nuclear.care! Here, CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo discusses the recent test.
Oct 17: I’m heading the team organizing the next Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) Vienna Conference This three-day event held at the UN Vienna in January 2018 will be a major forum for the diplomatic community, NGOs, academics, and civil society to discuss potentials and challenges linked to SDG 5: ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.’
Sept 17: I moderated the panel on ‘Perspectives for the 21st Century – Migration, Refugee Crisis, European Identity’ at the UPF Peace Day event at the UN Vienna.
Sept 17: At the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, I moderated an event which gathered stakeholders in aviation security and education to reduce human trafficking. Here, doing a bit of pre-planning with Nancy Rivard, President, Airline Ambassadors International.
Aug 17: Genbaku No Hi (Atomic Bomb Awareness Day) event led by Yuko Gulda on August 8th at the United Nations Vienna. The event always includes Japanese cultural elements; this view is of the Japanese tea ceremony installation.
July 17: Beautiful closing speech by the atomic bomb witness and activist Setsuko Thurlow when the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted at the UN headquarters in New York. This inspiring woman has dedicated her life to disarmament.
May 17: Airing of my televised interview with Dr. Alex Wellerstein, a historian of science who specializes in the history of nuclear weapons and nuclear secrecy. Wellerstein discusses his blog (Restricted Data) and his innovative tools such as NUKEMAP. Part of ‘Leaving the Nuclear Age’ television series from MNN in New York; the Director is Gloria Messer
Feb 17: Wonderful to see Ela Gandhi again! During her years as a Parliamentarian in South Africa, she was integral in developing the country’s Constitution along with its Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It was a treat taking her for a tour of the Austrian Parliament.
Feb 17: Spent the afternoon at the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) shooting a news segment about the reactions to Trump of US citizens living in Vienna. Was with a brilliant group of students working on advanced degrees in Human Rights.
Jan 17: At the front (in yellow shirts) is an adorable group of young musicians who performed at the Act.Now conference. Some of these kids had a refugee-experience background. Just one example of the ‘heart, soul, and culture’ of this event.
Nov 16: To mark the International Day to eliminate Violence against Women, ACUNS-Vienna partnered on a “Femicide Watch” event with UNODC, OSCE and others aimed at systematizing data collection and analysis on gender-based violence, with a view to improving prevention and response mechanisms.
May 16: Attended Geneva’s Open-ended Working Group of the UN General Assemblyfocused on finding legal measures ‘to attain and maintain a world without nuclear weapons.’ To my left is Alyn Ware, the Global Coordinator for PNND and co-founder of Abolition 2000 and UNFOLD ZERO, among other groups.
May 16: I wrote a Letter to the Editor of the NYT – entitled Denuclearization Must Be Global. The piece points at the irony of nuclear-weapons states declining to attend the OEWG meeting ‘amid concerns that Kim Jong-un may accelerate saber rattling to shore up his powerbase.’
Aug 18: Supported a wonderful group of Alpbach Scholarship Holders bringing Nour Barakeh’s theater piece ‘Not a Fate’ to life. We were deeply honored to have Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens Board Members present, including the Founders, Former Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-moon and Former President of the Republic of Austria Heinz Fischer. (Photo credit: © Laurent Ziegler / Forum Alpbach)
Aug 18: Many thanks to all of those who participated in my ‘Be the Media’ workshops at European Forum Alpbach. Never forget the importance of your voice and your energy in effecting positive social change…
June 18: Had the pleasure of meeting Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel of Afghanistan at the Women in International Security Vienna event at the Diplomatic Academy last night. We discussed her great initiative, the Association of Afghan Women Diplomats.
May 18: Delighted to see Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh at the CTBT Science and Diplomacy Symposium. Appreciated his insights into next steps for JCPOA.
Feb-Mar 18: At Elevate, I gave a 45-minute talk on the Psychology of Risk and Courage. ‘How can the natural urge for personal growth impact life’s adversities?’ Is there a shared psychological denominator in courageous people?’ (photo credit: Elevate)
Feb-Mar 18: Interview with Maria Motter of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) progressive radio channel FM4. We discussed risk, courage, whistleblowers and the contribution of atomic bomb witnesses to contemporary narrative re. nuclear weapons.
Jan 18: Doaa Al Zamel has been described as ‘the refugee boat hero who saved a child and stirred a continent.’ This amazing young Syrian woman spoke eloquently at the ORF/Webster event. Interpreting was Nour Barakeh. (photo credit: Webster Vienna Private University)
Dec 17: Poster for the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) event I initiated and will help moderate. Two of UNODA’s Global South graduates will join, along with Doaa Al Zamel. We will discuss disarmament, inspiring young people… Side Event live-streamed to viewers on four continents.
Nov 17: Working with the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) re. its participation in the 2018 ACUNS-UN Vienna Conference. The head of Public Value, Klaus Unterberger, will Chair an important panel, and there will be a Side Event with the focus of empowering/inspiring young people with concrete activism tools.
Oct 17: Delighted to welcome United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) as a sponsor of the 2018 ACUNS-UN Vienna Conference. UNOOSA is responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. Its Director, Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo, is a strong supporter of the International Gender Champions initiative.
Sept 17: To my right is Ismail H. Balla, the Chief of UNODA Vienna. He gave a great talk on the connection of disarmament to both development and sustained peace.
Sept 17: Event participants included embassies, UNODC reps, OSCE, US Homeland Security, the EU Commission, and various air-transport groups. Emphasis was on finding synergies to prevent human trafficking via air transport.
Aug 17: For the past two years, I have helped organize and implement this event – which honors those who died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and calls for nuclear disarmament. The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs is the sponsor.
June 17: Final planning stages for an interactive eLearning platform to build awareness and strengthen community via synchronous communication; we’ll engage the general public (esp. young people) globally regarding nuclear issues. Can’t wait!
April 17: Airing of my televised interview with Dr. Robert Jervis, Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Affairs at Columbia University. He discusses contemporary challenges connected to non-proliferation. Part of ‘Leaving the Nuclear Age’ television series from MNN in New York; the Director is Gloria Messer.
Feb 17: Inside the ornate Federal Assembly Chamber of the Austrian Parliament, Ms. Gandhi started reminiscing about her grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi, and her meetings with Nelson Mandela in the South African Parliament… wow! A very wise and humble woman.
Feb 17: Here is a guest post I wrote for Arms Control Wonk: The Prague Agenda in a Post-Truth World. The piece looks at Obama’s legacy regarding nuclear weapons and ’collective handwringing about the implications of a Trump presidency.’
Jan 17: Yury Fedotov (Director-General of the UN Vienna) and Lassina Zerbo (Executive Secretary of the CTBTO) helped open the ACUNS conference.
Nov 16: Part of the multidisciplinary team promoting this initiative to reduce violence against women and girls. At the left is Billy Batware, UNODC Consultant and Executive Director of the Forum for Young Internationalists, the umbrella association for the Regional Academy on the United Nation.
Sep 16: I initiated and co-organized an International Day of Peace conference at the UN Vienna. The goal was to underscore that weapons (and especially nuclear weapons) must be addressed when discussing peace and sustainable development.
Sep 16: The three witnesses (Hazel Richardson – UK, Rosina Wernig – Austria, Reiko Yamada – Japan) ringing the UN Vienna Peace Bell with Aldo Lale-Demoz, UNODC Deputy Executive Director.
Aug 16: A military person accompanying us to Ground Zero of the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan – measuring radiation levels with a handheld Geiger counter.
Aug 18: Pure joy after the theater piece premiere. Pictured are performers Pascal Rathle, Carlos Gil Soriano and Jophin Mathai; hidden by group hug are Nour Barakeh, Mădălina Boț and Doaa Al Zamel. Also seen is Julia Zimmerman of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens who was instrumental in this process. (Photo credit: © Laurent Ziegler / Forum Alpbach)
June 18: Excited to return to developing the nuclear.care platform, which will provide balanced information, build global community, and promote positive change on nuclear topics. The aim is to launch in 2019.
May 18: Attended a breakfast meeting at the Ban-ki Moon Center for Global Citizenship. We discussed strategies and synergies for empowering women and youth.
Apr 18: Co-hosted the two-hour Vienna Festival with Dr. Dieter Schmidt. 10,000 participants and far more via live stream. Kudos to the organizers! Will post photos when they become available…
Feb-Mar 18: Participated in the Opening Session at Elevate, an interdisciplinary festival uniquely combining critical political discourse and contemporary music and art.’ This year’s event focused on Risk and Courage. (photo credit: Elevate)
Jan 18: Doaa Al Zamel gave a wonderful speech! She is the subject of A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea: One Refugee’s Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival. (photo credit: UNIS Vienna)
Jan 18: In the Opening Session of the ACUNS Vienna 2018 Conference, Dr. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization keynoted on the importance of empowering women in achieving peace. (photo credit: UNIS Vienna)
Dec 17: Planning meeting for the 2018 Vienna UN Conference. It’s brilliant how shared goals unite those of different backgrounds, nations and generations into coordinated effort. United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed among those who have confirmed video messages…
Nov 17: Setsuko Thurlow will jointly accept the Nobel Peace Prize on ICAN’s behalf next month. I initiated and produced this short video of her Vienna visit, re. the 2014 Humanitarian Impact Conference, her testimony to students, and reaction to the Austrian Pledge. What an amazing woman she is!
Oct 17: Diplomatic Academy event: ‘The policy of the Republic of Korea’s new government towards North Korea and the situation on the Korean peninsula.’ Especially enjoyed hearing Director General Kim Yong-hyon’s comprehensive keynote and discussing the upcoming window of opportunity in that region with Ambassador (ret.) Dr. Peter Moser.
Sept 17: Put together… flags look like art! This full-day United Nations event emphasized the role parliamentarians can play in securing peace.
Sept 17: Tim Colehan of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) talked about how to make airport staff and passengers more aware of the signs of human trafficking. A global tip line would be of tremendous help…
Aug 17: Yuko Gulda organized young hip hop dancers to perform for the Atomic Bomb Awareness Day celebration at the UN Vienna’s Memorial Plaza. We also had youthful artists performing modern dance and classical music.
April 17: This televised interview with Dr. John Burroughs of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy was considered for a national prize. He gives a compelling overview of various legal avenues for disarmament and non-proliferation. Part of ‘Leaving the Nuclear Age’ television series from MNN in New York; the Director is Gloria Messer.
Feb 17: Next, we went to Webster Private University Vienna for an event covered by Austrian television and live streamed. Ms. Gandhi spoke about life under apartheid, her activism, her views on nuclear disarmament and her work via the Gandhi Development Trust.
Jan 17: Chaired at this UN Vienna event: ‘Toward Peace and Reconciliation in Conflict Zones – The Role of Religions.’ Participants were UN diplomats, religious leaders and NGOs. Discussed Syria and the plight of refugees.
Jan 17: Great mix of scientists, diplomats, students and other members of civil society talking about how to promote cooperation for the SDGs.
Dec 16: Inside the ATOM Museum, a former Soviet military base where Soviet nuclear weapons were reportedly stored during the Cold War.
Nov 16: ACUNS-Vienna has taken a lead in raising awareness about gender-based violence; its latest FEMICIDE report focuses on girl refugees, displaced girls and migrant children, and the specific forms of violence and abuse occurring in the context of their flight. It’s available for free download here.
Sep 16: Afternoon panel with two of the WWII witnesses and the respective Permanent Mission to the UN — with Ambassador Leigh Turner, UK Permanent Mission, Reiko Yamada, Japan, Fukuichiro Tanaka, Japan Permanent Mission and Hazel Richardson, England.
Sep 16: Two of the WWII witnesses (Hazel Richardson and Reiko Yamada) in the UN grounds. Also in the photo are Mark and Valerie Richardson and Tomotoshi Yamada.
Aug 16: Lunch at the Semipalatinsk Test Site. To my left is Ela Ghandi, the former parliamentarian, peace activist, and granddaughter of Mahatma Ghandi. What a beautiful and inspiring soul. Also pictured are new friends: Rachel Carlsen, Carien Du Plessis and Alice Bromage.
May 16: At the OEWG, support grew for negotiation of a treaty banning nuclear weapons. A significant working paper, A/AC.286/WP.36, was submitted by 126 states which had endorsed the pledge originating at the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in 2014.