Michael Douglas presents “Action for Disarmament: 10 Things You Can Do”

NEW YORK (CIHAN)- At a launch of the book “Action for Disarmament: 10 Things You Can Do!”, United Nations Messenger of Peace Michael Douglas called upon high school and college students around the globe to take part in efforts to disarm the world from nuclear and other weapon of mass destruction.

Written for high school and early-college students, Action for Disarmament offers 10 practical steps to help young people mobilize, act and promote the UN’s disarmament ideals throughout their schools, communities and beyond.

Young people worldwide have a critical role to play in raising awareness and developing new strategies to reduce the threats of weapons of mass destruction and small arms and light weapons.

To the students in the room, Mr. Douglas said “I want to tell you that you hold enormous power, power to take part in changes to make the world a better and safer place to live.”

Action for Disarmament: 10 Things You Can Do! helps teenagers and young adults to promote international peace and security by enabling them to enlighten the public on the importance of disarmament.

According to Douglas, “this book is a tool for youth to get into action and become agents of social change.”

Angela Kane, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs noted that “every day, at least $4.4 billion are being spent on the military worldwide – while humanity continues to suffer from poverty, hunger, disease and unmet human needs.”

She quoted Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saying: “the world is over-armed and peace is under-funded.”

For students of today, almost 70 years after Hiroshima bombing, the threat of nuclear war is more a “part of the history lessons” rather than a reality of the day, said Douglas and warned that even though countries do have various treaties to manage this threat, the terrorists are presenting a threat on completely different level.

It is important to learn about weapon of mass destruction at the early age, given that there are so many 20-year olds now that are politically active – said Douglas.

“I certainly hope to that within my life time to see the elimination of these weapons so I am counting a lot on this next generation to get us there.” – he added.

Famous actor warned as well that we shouldn’t wait for a terrible incident to happen – for some terrorist group to get hold of a loose nuclear weapon to act – the action needs to be taken before that.

To ensure the widest possible dissemination of the publication, the University of Tokyo in Japan and the Hope to the Future Foundation in the Republic of Korea have agreed to translate Action for Disarmament: 10 Things You Can Do! into Japanese and Korean respectively.

SHOTLIST:
15 APRIL 2014, NEW YOUR CITY
UN Headquarters
Auditorium
Audience
Projected insert from the book
Douglas posing for photo op with kids
Projected insert from the book
The book
Kids performing on stage

SOUNDBITE (English), Michael Douglas, UN Messenger of Peace:
“We just ended the 20th century the world witnessed two world wars and the development of weapons of mass destruction. In the century that has just begun, war still plagues the landscape. When we turn on the news, we bear witness to images of pain and suffering in conflicts in Syria and the Central Africa and hopefully not in Ukraine.”

SOUNDBITE (English), Michael Douglas, UN Messenger of Peace:
“This book is a call to action, to create a world where people of goodwill and instruments of peace prevail over weapons of war. You can take concrete steps. Whether it is creating a club, screening a movie, or starting a Twitter campaign, your deeds will have an impact. This book can help you to find a role that you can play in disarmament.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Angela Kane, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs:
“4.4 billion dollars are being spent every day on the military worldwide, while humanity continues to suffer from poverty, hunger, disease, and unmet human needs. As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has often said, the “world is over-armed and peace is under-funded”.

SOUNDBITE (English), Michael Douglas, UN Messenger of Peace:
“Next year it is going to be 70 years since Hiroshima and for lot of students it’s just a part of history lessons, rather than a real threat, a reality of what exists out there today. Loose nukes – it’s a terrible situation. I think we can work o our treaties between United States and Russia and the other countries that have nuclear weapons, but terrorists are different story.”

SOUNDBITE (English), Michael Douglas, UN Messenger of Peace:
“I am surprised by the number of 20-year olds that are running for the Congress, or local office. So I think by having the knowledge earlier in their life – before you know it, they will have voting age, and elective age. And this issue of nuclear disarmament will become as prevalent as I think it should be. I certainly hope to that within my life time to see the elimination of these weapons so I am counting a lot on this next generation to get us there.”

SOUNDBITE (English), Michael Douglas, UN Messenger of Peace:
“We have gone down from 70 000 warheads between Russia and United States down to 17 000, but the fear of the terrorist attack, fear of someone getting hold of some of the enriched uranium or plutonium – this is the situation that we cannot have it happened. I believe if a terrible tragedy happens, we are going to see a lot of action quickly. We’ll see the elimination of weapons. But this is a situation that we cannot wait for that tragic incident to happen and then act. It’s got to happen before that.”

DURATION: 03:52

SOURCE: CIHAN