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Opening Day at the NPT PrepCom

Today marked the first day of the 2018 NPT PrepCom. Representatives from the Holy See, Thailand, New Zealand, Austria, and Costa Rica, amongst others reaffirmed the importance of the Ban Treaty. They underscored how the Ban Treaty strengthens the NPT, in particularly Article VI. Notably, Ambassador Dell Higgie of New Zealand explained that "Last year, as part of our support for a rules-based international order and consistent with our long-standing commitment to nuclear disarmament, New Zealand lent its support to efforts to put in place a further international agreement in this field - the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in order to supplement efforts within the NPT community to give reality to the obligation regarding nuclear disarmament under Article Vl of the NPT. Such new obligations do not - and cannot as a matter of international law - in any way displace the full span of obligations we already owe to all States Parties under the NPT. New Zealand will continue, as we have for nigh-on 50 years, to fully abide by these (at the same time as we maintain our legitimate expectation that all other Parties will meet theirs, including with respect to Article Vl)." Clearly, it is an exciting time in which states should embrace the ban treaty, a powerful instrument that fulfills the promise set forth in the Article VI.

Sadly, the U.S. continued to argue that "ultimate goal of nuclear disarmament can only feasibly be addressed as a real-world policy problem in the context of the overall security environment. Unfortunately, deteriorating security conditions have made near-term prospects for progress on disarmament bleak." How long must we wait? When we will have a security environment that is conducive to engage in discussions on nuclear disarmament. We cannot wait for some time in the unforeseen future.  States must sign and ratify the Ban Treaty!

If we were to wait longer for the NWS to feel comfortable about disarming its weapons, we will be here forever.  Even worse, trillions of dollars will be spent on modernizing nuclear weapons. Already, as specified by the Holy See, "the arms race, the modernization and development of nuclear arsenals, infrastructure and delivery systems, deny the poor and disadvantaged of the resources needed to reduce poverty and to foster integral human development. Imagine if all the resources that have been squandered and that are being poured into the modernization and maintenance of nuclear weapons could be invested in addressing poverty, inequality, injustice, education, health and environmental degradation!"

As I reflect about the first day of negotiations, I realize that we must take action! We need to encourage states to embrace the ban treaty and move forward instead of simply waiting for the correct environment for the NWS to disarm their weapons.

That's all for now!

Looking forward to day 2 of the NPT PrepCom!

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First Day of 2018 NPT PrepCom

Interesting first day watching the opening session and general debates!

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Exploring Geneva with the Team!

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Finally met with the entire PEAC team today! Shortly after our meeting, we headed out into the city where we ate Lebanese food, got onto a boat and explored the parks around the Jet d'Eau. Geneva is a beautiful city surrounded by picturesque snow peak mountains and I cannot wait to explore more with my friends.

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We're Gettin Ready!

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Looking over some of our past events at the UN as we prepare to go to Geneva. We're so excited to bring 15 students with us! They will participate in creating the 2018 Youth Appeal to be presented during the NGO session. We have students and team members from all over the world joining us. The first team member takes off on Tuesday and we all meet, some of us for the first time, Friday, April 20th.

Check back - we'll have updates from all the participants right here!

 

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IS THE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM THE ONLY WAY?

Not All Opportunity Can Be Found On the Streets of NYC?  Is that just me or an ideology?

            Growing up in a family that started with nothing, it is easy to see that life is hard and that strife is something that geared my family, more specifically, my grandfather, to be something greater. As a young adult, my grandfather grew up without a family and no one to help him better his education.  He refused to take out loans; he feared the very idea of debt especially at such a young age.  He attempted a four-year degree but quickly realized that there is more to life than just sitting behind a desk crunching numbers—that’s what everyone was going for.  My grandfather decided to go towards the unorthodox route and make himself successful in a realm that was viewed as less than middle class; he decided to become a tradesman, a good one at that.  Roberson Scrap is the establishment my grandfather created from the pennies he had in his pocket and the notion that opportunity would guide him into the best economic state.  Scrapping metal isn’t a career that kids dream about.  Kids dream to become the President of the United States, to become astronauts, or to become famous architects.  Instead, my grandfather decided to chase an opportunity rather than a dream, an opportunity that set himself apart from many in his age group.  Could it be that viewing some work as insignificant could deter young people from a genuine opportunity?

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2018 NPT PrepCom in Geneva, Switzerland

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This youth expedition consisted of 12 individuals age 18-25. The participants were from the U.S, Japan, and the European states.  The program ran from 20 April 2018 to 25 April 2018. 

 

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You(r/e) (Friend is) Weak.

Here is a 3 AM editorial about a topic that got under my skin. This topic hits everyone close to home, and I say that with the most dogmatic tone possible, for reason.  The purpose of The Thorn will forever be evolving, but I’ll offer long-winded editorials here and there, research topics sprinkled in...no set theme.  The theme is being loose, outside any box.

 

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My thought for the day: Everyone has a weakness— what's yours? 

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Episode One

Rebecca Whyte Decides to Change the World

Rebecca Whyte is black. Not just black, beautiful. Not just beautiful, irresistible. She’s not just proud Ethiopian features with a smile that radiates such compassion and love, she glows. She’s light itself. She can take the dark out of the nighttime, but never turns the daytime black. She’s as warm and brilliant as the sun, as subtly illuminating as a full moon. Several decades from now, as Rebecca lies on her deathbed surrounded by friends and family and TV cameras from every continent broadcasting her every labored breath to an audience in the billions, Gaia says, “Maybe you shouldn’t have made her quite so attractive.”

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Episode Two

Rebecca Changes Her College

 It’s probably hard for young people in 2016 to imagine, but in the early 1980s when Rebecca is in college, many institutions of higher learning still protect their female students with a policy known as house closing. 

At Rebecca’s school, girls have to be in their dorms by 11:00pm on weeknights, 12:00 midnight on Friday and 1:00am on Saturday (Sunday morning). A lot of girls don’t mind this. They don’t want to stay out later than that anyway, and it’s a good way to get rid of guys before the witching hour. But in the 80s what nearly all girls cannot handle at all is the fact that the boys’ dorms never close. Boys can stay out all night. It’s only girls who have to be in at a certain time. 

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Episode Three

Rebecca Changes Anytown Part 1

By the time she graduates, Rebecca has welded her college classmates into a solid body of student activists. The school eliminates house closing, increases wages for employees, including students on work scholarships, and changes the name of the humanities building, which had been named after Andrew Jackson, well-known slave-owner and Indian killer. On graduation day, as she walks across the stage to receive her diploma, an enormous cheer goes up, and much of the crowd burst into tears. In the yearbook, she is “most likely to succeed.” Everyone knows she’ll be impossible to replace, but she’s groomed several underclassmen and women to keep her college in motion.

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