And some recent activities…
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.
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.
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: 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
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 Assembly focused 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.
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.
Apr 18: Honored to participate in the ‘Peace Starts With Me‘ Peace & Family Festival in Vienna. Performances ranged from gospel to dance, with a keynote by Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. Great event and important message.
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.
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.
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.
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: 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.’
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.
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.’
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: 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.
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.
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.
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.