14 March 2014
A group of SOAS Masters students in the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD) attended the United Nations meeting as delegates of SCRAP (Strategic Concept for the Removal of Arms and Proliferation) in Geneva last month.
Hosted by Ambassador Päivi Kairamo, Head of Permanent Mission of Finland in Geneva, the UN meeting focused on international security through disarmament and confidence building.
The SCRAP project, led by Dr Dan Plesch, Director of CISD who attended as Project Director, is a holistic approach to global disarmament. It proposes the adoption of an international legally binding agreement for complete and general disarmament.
The SCRAP concept is designed to expand the idea of what is possible in disarmament by drawing on the best practice of past agreements. This concept was discussed by the panel, which included Amb Urs Schmid, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the Conference on Disarmament, Deputy Permanent Representative of Switzerland; and Marc Finaud, Senior Programme Advisor, Emerging Security Challenges Programme, Geneva Centre for Security Policy.
Bodil Jacobsen, one of the visiting SOAS students, said: “The SCRAP event in Geneva indicated that interest around disarmament issues is very much alive among a broad range of people, including SOAS students and the public, as well as ambassadors and the Director-General of UNOG. The challenge now is to keep that momentum of interest around SCRAP and disarmament in general. It is easy to believe that nothing can be done about disarmament, but I think the event in Geneva showed that there are forums and opportunities to raise concerns, share new ideas and influence the disarmament agenda whenever possible. We need to keep this in mind. All of us.”
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