The voice of METO’s university network heard loud and clear in Vienna

Alice Filiberto delivers part of the Youth statement at the TPNW MSP in Vienna

The second day of the Meeting of State Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons began with a continuation of the previous day’s debate. The METO team listened to remarks made by delegates from Norway, Switzerland, Morocco, the Netherlands and more.

After their speeches, one of the METO Programme Associates, Alice Filiberto, delivered part of the Youth Statement for the MSP in front of delegates, explaining the need for increased intersectional representation and collective action for the benefit of all people while proposing recommendations in order to achieve these demands. The statement added that young people are continuously committed to working with state parties to the TPNW to effectively dismantle nuclear arms and hold all states accountable to protecting global safety: “We the leaders of tomorrow, are committed in the work towards establishing a world free of nuclear weapons. We urge you to join our call and protect our common future.” Alice delivered the Youth statement alongside Marcina Langrine of Marshallese Educational Initiative and Reverse the Trend, who read aloud the first half of the speech.

The Youth statement had been partially written by two other METO team members, Anahita Parsa and Jacob Allard, who had worked with other young disarmament activists in the months leading up to the conference in order to ensure that the statement encapsulated the feelings of the generation which will be most affected by the failure to eliminate nuclear weapons. The statement received an enthusiastic round of applause.

Following the end of the general debate, METO team members split up and listened to different side panels that had been set up by ICAN, including a discussion on the role of gender in disarmament work, a panel on the verification of the treaty, and a conversation on environmental remediation. 

The second day was informative and engaging and the team is extremely proud of their involvement in the conference, especially the Youth Statement. METO’s team of young delegates are surpassing their own pre-conceived limits and throwing themselves wholeheartedly into conversations with diplomats and civil society representatives alike. It is a joy to watch them.

Published by Britt Gronemeyer

Britt Gronemeyer is a third year student at the University of St Andrews. She is working towards a joint degree in Modern History and Middle Eastern Studies. She also writes for her school’s Law Review, focusing on International Law and Freedom of the Press.