Pacific Islands Society Provides Opportunity for Young Leaders to Make Voices Heard on Disarmament

PacSoc is pleased to announce that the first edition of Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament drew to a close earlier today in Geneva, Switzerland; PacSoc is now accepting applications from young professionals in the Pacific Islands for second edition
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HONOLULU - Sept. 15, 2014 - PRLog -- In 2013, the Pacific Islands Society (PacSoc) launched Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament  (PYL-D) to give young professionals from Pacific Island countries and teritories a chance to have their voices heard on contemporary counter-proliferation and disarmament issues.

Over the last year, two young leaders from American Samoa and Papua New Guinea explored the complex world of diplomacy and disarmament under the mentorship of senior diplomats in Geneva and think tanks fellows in Washington, DC.

The participants then drafted articles on a wide range of counter-proliferation and disarmament issues. A network of partners, including the Federation of American Scientists, ESTPC, and the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, published these articles – thereby disseminating their insights and analysis to policymakers around the world.

At the end of the program, each participant drafted a hypothetical statement to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament (UNCD). These statements reflected their personal views on how the failure to move forward on global disarmament impacts their country or territory.

This spring, the Federation of American Scientists published the PYL-D statements as part of a special series on the FAS Blog. Over the course of the summer, the statements were then delivered to over 100 diplomatic missions, intergovernmental organizations, and nonprofit organizations in Geneva, Switzerland.

2015 Program Call for Applications Now Open

The UNCD was established in 1979 as the international community’s single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum. The UNCD and its predecessors have negotiated a number of major multilateral arms control and disarmament agreements, including the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

Unfortunately, the UNCD has been unable to make progress against its own schedule in recent years as a great debate over what to prioritize – counter-proliferation or disarmament – has divided its 65 members. This has led to new efforts to revitalize the UNCD so that it can move forward with its disarmament agenda.

At present, the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) are not UNCD members and are therefore not directly represented within the UNCD debates. Nevertheless, the PICs retain important national security interests in the outcome of the UNCD proceedings, including the global threat posed by Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) weapons.

For this reason, PICs must be able to properly track and assess whether developments within the UNCD advance or undermine their security interests. And, where they fail to do so, the PICs must possess the unilateral, bilateral, and/or multilateral capacities needed to intervene on their own behalf.

The Pacific Islands Society recognizes that young professionals must be better prepared for this task. PacSoc is therefore calling upon young leaders in Pacific Island countries and territories to deepen their knowledge about and networks on counter-proliferation and disarmament through participation in the second edition of the Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament.

Successful applicants will be provided mentorship and given opportunities to publish their own articles and commentary on contemporary counter-proliferation and disarmament issues. At the end of the program, they will also have an opportunity to draft their own statement to the UNCD.

These statements will then be electronically and/or physically delivered on their behalf to the diplomatic missions, international governmental organizations, and nonprofit organizations that are the major policy stakeholders at the UNCD.

2015 Program Eligibility and Submission Guidelines

The Pacific Islands Society is currently accepting applicants for the 2015 Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament Program from the following countries: Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Niue, Republic of Marshall Islands, and Tuvalu. The Society is also accepting applications from: French Polynesia, New Caledonia, American Samoa, Tokelau, Guam, Timor-Leste, Wallis and Futuna, Hawaii, Easter Island, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

To put forth an application for consideration, please send an expression of interest, C.V., and two recommendations to When submitting, please paste the requested items in the body of the email rather than as attached documents. Applications will remain open until December 1, 2014 or until the five participants are selected for the program.

About the Pacific Islands Society

The Pacific Islands Society (PacSoc) is a domestic nonprofit organization registered in the United States of America. Its mission is to promote mutual understanding and foster stronger relations between Pacific Islanders and others in the international community. This includes developing the next generation of leaders in the Pacific Islands region through programs that provide young professionals with the knowledge, networks, and experiences to overcome the most challenging domestic and foreign policy issues facing the Pacific Islands. For more information, visit:

About the 2014 Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament

Charity Anna Porotesano recently graduated from Grinnell College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. In 2012, The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation recognized her exceptional leadership potential when she was made a Truman Scholar.

Keiko Ono is a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and Development Studies. Of Papua New Guinean-Japanese decent, Ono has a strong interest in development and diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific region.

For more information about the participants in the 2014 Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament, visit:

For the publications of the 2014 Pacific Young Leaders on Disarmament, visit:

Mohammad Tahboub
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