About Honna Marttila

Ms. Honna Marttila is the PR Officer of UNYANET 2012-2013 and a former President of UNYA Finland. She was a trainee at the Finnish Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva during the spring 2013. Previously, she has worked at the Finnish Embassy in Abuja and interned at UNDP Jamaica and Crisis Management Initiative.

The badass or the victim?

Hostility fuels despair... and the other way around.  UN Photo/AFP.

Hostility fuels despair… and the other way around. UN Photo/AFP.

There are some problems, more or less recognized, with regard to the withdrawal clause of the article X of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, exemplified by the one case where a state has ever tried to use it. While, presumably, the state acted to protect its rights, it encountered major international opposition in the aftermath of this decision[1]. I see as the most fundamental problem the question of why would anyone agree to include such a clause in an agreement if in the ends its use is nonetheless condemned?[2] Further, why would anyone try to withdraw from the treaty by the use of this clause if the response they get is comparable to them just leaving with no justification attempts at all? Continue reading

Ambassador Hoffmann: “The younger generation must continue our battle towards a world without nuclear weapons”

Conference on Disarmament meets in Geneva. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré.

Conference on Disarmament meets in Geneva. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré.

In May 2013, before I finished my traineeship in Geneva, the German permanent representative to the Conference on Disarmament, Ambassador Hellmut Hoffmann, was generous enough to grant a moment out of his busy schedule for a video interview during which he shares his views on the inclusion of youth particularly in the disarmament processes at the UN. Continue reading

Wanted: fresh views and participation

UNYANET Representatives at Palais des Nations, Geneva, in May 2013

UNYANET Representatives at Palais des Nations, Geneva, in May 2013

Having followed various meetings on the field of disarmament at the UN in Geneva during the spring 2013, I was surprised by the amount of times that the youth and especially the need for fresh views at the UN were mentioned. The issue actually came up in more informal occasions but still within the official discussions of for example the Meeting of National Directors on Mine Action and a seminar on Military Spending organized by the International Peace Bureau. And even if I call the speakers vaguely by ”one speaker” or ”someone”, these people were influential personalities within Geneva disarmament context, which makes it even more impressive: These people take a moment from their super busy schedule to promote the inclusion of youth!

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News for the Youth

News for the Youth

UN Photo/Mark Garten

More and more, the UN tries to inform the youth by using social media and interactive tools. But does the target group get the news it is looking for through the new channels? A critical review of the current effort reveals quite diverse results.

In the past years, the United Nations started to use more and more social tools to inform the public, especially the youth, about its activities around the world. Twitter accounts and facebook pages were created. A page to download and use the official UN photos was established as well as various news and media pages. UN TV streams live from the conferences of the United Nations and UN Radio made its program available online while stopped broadcasting its program in a traditional sense. Finally, the United Nations established a Social Media Team that maintains at least some of the official United Nations social media accounts.

UNYANET created a survey to observe how and where the youth acquire their information and news about the UN. The survey revealed some patterns but the use of different channels still seems somewhat random especially when it comes to getting information on more specific topics than the basic knowledge on the UN.

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