Thursday, 16 October 2014

Disarmament Education Online

Educating ourselves and our youth about the huge advantages of peace compared to war is of utmost importance.

I am impressed with and recommend new resources and guides provided online by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, particularly the aids for Disarmament Education: Resources for Learning.

A short video on UN Web TV shows 3 boys performing a rap song (4.5 minutes) they wrote which was inspired by their disarmament lessons. The boys' creativity is appreciated when contrasted to youth playing war video games.

One item that caught my attention is the new book: Action for Disarmament: 10 Things You Can Do, by United Nations Department of Public Information, 2014. The book shows many ways people can engage in learning, and creatively use the materials provided online.

  1. Stay informed
  2. Start a club
  3. Create an event
  4. Sign up
  5. Facilitate a discussion
  6. Express yourself
  7. Host a film showing
  8. Voice your concern
  9. Plan a presentation
  10. Reach out

The book summarizes the history and modern uses of weapons: guns, bombs, nuclear and biological weapons. For example, at the height of the Cold War there were 60,000 nuclear warheads, today they are 17,000.

On page 17 is a picture titled: 'Weapons being burnt during the official launch of the "Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration" process in Burundi." Burundi is a land-locked republic in Southeast Africa.

This photo reminds me of my ancestors, the Spirit Wrestlers / Doukhobors, who on midnight of June 28-29, 1895 burnt their guns in Tsarist Russia in regions of the Southern Caucasus. 7000 participated in this first international recognized mass protest against militarism and wars.


  1. Patricia Palulis, Ottawa, Ontario16 October 2014 at 12:36

    Thanks, Koozma! I will share this with my students! How can I find the rap by three young boys?

    1. Sorry. The omitted link is now added to the 3rd paragraph above.

  2. Thank you for pointing out this valuable resource! I have shared your email with interested teachers and the coordinator of PeaceQuest's Education Stream.



  3. Many thanks for all the information. Looking at the photograph of the pile of guns under fire I am reminded of our action in the central part of India back in 1972 to 74 period. More than 600 dreaded dacoits were motivated to surrender their arms and go to prison for a period ranging from 5 to 10 years. I have seen guns piling up in front of Gandhi's photograph and the dacoits one by one coming on the dais to announce their decision to take the path of nonviolence to shape their future.

    Such information are very useful. Jill must have informed you that we went to Georgia to inaugurate the Gandhi Foundation and also to conduct a training in nonviolence for a group of 30 youth who came from many countries including Iran and Turkey. Our friend Ramin Jahabagalu was also with us in this programme.

    An international youth training was also held in India for a group of 30 from 15 countries.They have gone back highly inspired.

    At the moment I am in Germany with a film on nonviolent march that took place in India back in 2012.The film is always followed by an interesting discussion on nonviolence and it's importance.