“What if – Spesterra” Youth Video Challenge Launch & Discussion
15 April 2021 (virtual event)

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2021 the “International Year of Peace and Trust”. It is also the first year of the Decade of Action to usher in ambitious steps to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Against this backdrop, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs officially launched the “What if — Spesterra” Youth Video Challenge on World Art Day, 15 April 2021, to stimulate young people’s interest and knowledge about the vital way disarmament contributes to a safer, more secure and sustainable world for all.

The Sustainable Development Agenda makes clear that there cannot be development without peace and security. Disarmament and arms control are integral to creating these conditions: fields need to be landmine-free before farmers can cultivate them; neighborhoods need to be safe from gun violence in order for commerce to flourish; and roads blocked by armed groups cannot serve a country’s progress. The world needs to be free of nuclear weapons that cast an existential shadow over humanity. Unchecked military spending and growing stockpiles of weapons have not brought us closer to peace, and no number of weapons have protected populations from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coined from the Latin words spes, which means hope, and terra, which means land, the “What if — Spesterra” Youth Video Challenge calls on young people across the globe to imagine a world without weapons of mass destruction, in which conventional arms are strictly regulated and resources are directed towards tangible social and economic benefits for people and the planet.

Making use of multimedia productions like short films, animations, documentaries, and music videos, young people around the globe are invited to showcase their vision of what the world would look like if we put people at the center of our disarmament efforts to save lives and make our world a safer place.

The event featured an array of distinguished speakers: Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs; H.E. Mr. Cho Hyun, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations; H.E. Ms. Maritza Chan Valverde, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Costa Rica, and Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, Ms. Lovely Umayam, Reverse the Trend, Ms. Kirsten Mosey, UN Youth Champion for Disarmament, Mr. Olamide Samuel, SCRAPWeapons and Ms. Jacqueline Duerre, Humanium Metal.
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