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Strengthening Disarmament Education to Maintain and Achieve Peace in a Globalised World

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Definition of Key Terms
  3. Background Information
  4. Implementing the Program into Post Conflict Countries in Asia and the Pacific
  5. Major Countries and Organizations Involved
  6. Relevant UN Treaties and Events
  7. Previous Attempts to solve the Issue
  8. Possible Solutions
  9. Bibliography


The issue of strengthening disarmament education to maintain and achieve peace in a globalised world is a tough issue to grasp, due to our fast changing world and current wars ensuing in the world today including the most recent conflicts between India and Pakistan and war torn countries such as Yemen, Syria, etc. Granted that is a difficult issue to provide solutions to, it is not impossible to draw up these solutions and apply them to everyday life.

This issue does not only affect one specific country, it mostly affects war torn and third world countries that in today’s world, there is not a lack of. Strengthening education on disarmament is extremely crucial because children who are the leaders of tomorrow need to learn not to resort to violence as not only does it result to high rates of mortality, it also rather disrupts the social and economic aspects of a country.

The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament (UNRCPD) is committed to assisting Asian-Pacific states requesting support in delivering Peace and Disarmament education. Currently, UNRCPD is working with Nepal to implement a new model of delivering Peace and Disarmament education to meet post-conflict challenges – a model UNRCPD aims to bring to other countries in Asia and the Pacific.

Since 2013, UNRCPD has been supporting the Government of Nepal in its efforts to deliver peace education under the national curriculum. By operating within existing structures to infuse high quality technical expertise into teaching materials and pedagogy, UNRCPD aims to promote non-violent values and behavior (e.g. tolerance and celebrating diversity).

As one reads through this report, they will come across rather large discrepancies in educational and economic statistics of these countries. There are suggested reforms that delegates can further develop into their resolutions.

Definition of Key Terms


The reduction or withdrawal of military forces and weapons. This means that when we are debating for disarmament, we are debating to take out weapons in particular countries or areas.

Military Forces

Can refer to the armed forces that serve the country or self funded militia who have their own interests at hand.


Develop or be developed so as to make international influence or operation possible.

Background Information

Disarmament has been in the focus of the United Nations ever since one can remember however the concept of educational disarmament is fairly new to the UN. It is not to be forgotten that post war, countries such as Iraq have been left high and dry and it is the youth that suffer the most.

As of 2013, ten years after the invasion of Iraq, 13.5% of school-aged Iraqi children (1.2 million children) did not have access to basic education – six years of education in primary school, which is compulsory, plus three years of education in lower secondary school. The pattern is similar in Syria, since the conflict, one in four schools has been damaged, destroyed or are being used as temporary shelters, leaving an estimated 2.08 million children and youth in Syria out of school.

As aforementioned, the pattern of post conflict basic education has been a major contributor towards large discrepancies between war torn Middle Eastern countries and rather developed Middle Eastern countries such as the United Arab of Emirates. Hence, the importance of strengthening of disarmament education is the first step towards reducing these discrepancies and further enhancing the stabilisation within such countries.

On the other side of the world, Somalia has a 30 percent average primary school enrollment rate that dips to 18 percent in secluded regions. Due to severe poverty and the nomadic culture that pervades more than half of the population, sending children to traditional schools is impractical and impossible for many families. Hence, what this suggests is that disarmament education may be crucial however, the challenge is posed where war torn countries that are in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) regions are struggling to educate the youth on a daily basis.

In 2013, the UNRCPD introduced Phase I of the Programme known as Peace and Disarmament Education Programme in Nepal. Over the course of 12 months, PDE content for grade 8 curricula and textbooks have been developed, a baseline study on PDE and student’s behavior regarding conflict resolution has been conducted, and efforts to raise awareness on the importance of Peace and Disarmament Education amongst key Government officials have successfully been carried out. The products of this first phase of the project –curricular contents and textbooks- will reach an estimated 300,000 grade 8 children per year.

From December 2014 – July 2015, phase II of the Peace and Disarmament Programme project was implemented. Based on the achievements of phase I, the scope of the project was extended. In addition to grades 9 and 10 textbooks and curricula, a Peace and Disarmament Education optional course for grades 6-8, teacher’s guides for grade 8, as well as a Peace and Disarmament Education teacher training gap analysis were developed.

The curricula, textbooks and the teacher’s guides developed during phases I and II of the Programme, will reach more than 700,000 Nepali children per year. Specifically targeting the age group of 13-17 year olds provides students with the skills needed to transform conflicts using non-violent approaches during a key developmental period in their lives. By addressing the roots of interpersonal violence and reducing the demand for arms, the project helps strengthen the fragile peace that Nepal has worked tirelessly to achieve.

On a different note, one must understand the impact that the issue at hand has upon the socio economic policies of the affected countries and at a global spectrum too. All countries aforementioned, including those not mentioned and experience conflict, go through large stages of recession or inflations and hence, an unstable economy leading to no foreign investments and hence no real signs of development. Also, there proves to be a lack of jobs in such countries due to the economical situation and hence, leading to legal or illegal migration.

Furthermore, these countries also had electric problems which were caused by these wars and economic problems. Before 2003, Baghdad is reported to have enjoyed 16-24 hours of electricity per day, while the rest of the country had about four to eight hours. The average household now receives just eight hours of electricity through the public network – distribution losses are the highest in the Middle East and mainly due to damage during the 1991 Gulf War, subsequent sabotage and a lack of maintenance.

Implementing the Program into Post Conflict Countries in Asia and the Pacific

Using the Nepal model, UNRCPD is seeking to bring Peace and Disarmament Education to other post-conflict countries in Asia-Pacific. This low cost, high impact model is a sustainable way to give governments the technical expertise they need to deliver conflict resolution and peace education. As a Regional Centre, UNRCPD is committed to adapting its approach to meet the specific needs of requesting states. UNRCPD’s Peace and Disarmament Education activities seek to shape the values, skills and behavior of students towards non-violent responses to conflict at the individual, national and global levels.

Major Countries and Organizations Involved


As stated in before, Nepal has been trying to implement these phases into their country as they have suffered a lot of natural disasters, this curricula can help teach students who have lost everything, to not resort to violence and possibly start another civil war. This curricula not only has education on disarmament in it but also has general education which is very useful for the Nepalese students who have lost a lot in the natural disasters and can finally restart their lives. This is why Nepal has been so helpful to the UNRCPD.


Cuban society has increased its awareness of matters concerning disarmament, non-proliferation and peacekeeping. The mass media have prepared public service messages on the subject, especially to commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on 26 September each year. In addition to their educational work, Cuban educational centres also help to raise awareness among their students of the importance of peace, disarmament and non-proliferation. Specifically, in Cuban military education centres where senior, mid-level and junior officers are trained for technical and leadership positions, a higher standard of military ethics, including humanitarianism, internationalism and respect for peace, is required.

Cuban non-governmental organizations also play an important role in disarmament education. For almost 20 years, the Movimiento Cubano por la Paz y la Soberanía de los Pueblos (Cuban Movement for Peace and Sovereignty of Peoples), in conjunction with the Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País (Economic Society of Friends of the Nation), have organized national peace education workshops in various national educational institutions. The United Nations Association of Cuba also frequently holds events on this subject.

El Salvador

El Salvador recognizes the important role of education in the promotion of a culture of peace, with particular emphasis on protection of and respect for human rights and raising awareness of the grave consequences resulting from the various attacks, conflicts and threats to international peace and security occurring at the global level, mainly the humanitarian impact of the continued existence of weapons of mass destruction, the irresponsible use of firearms and the actions of transnational organized crime and terrorist groups. It is therefore essential to promote peaceful coexistence and guarantee security at the national, regional and global levels through the dissemination of educational materials on disarmament and non-proliferation and prevention of conflict and armed violence.

In El Salvador there have been various awareness-raising campaigns on security for Salvadoran youth in the schools, with the support of the Ministry of Education and the National Civil Police, mainly aimed at a reduction in armed violence, peaceful resolution of conflicts and preventing participation by youth in criminal groups. Reports have also been drafted on the humanitarian impact of weapons of mass destruction, in particular the consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, with the support of international organizations and civil society organizations, to make known the catastrophe such weapons could cause for human life and the importance of promoting their complete elimination.

Relevant UN Treaties and Events

  • The University of Peace

The University for Peace (UPEACE) is an intergovernmental organization with university status, established by treaty in 1980 and having its main campus in Costa Rica. Its stated mission is ‘to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations.

  • The Human Rights Act of 1998

The act used to establish fundamental and basic Human Rights that include education as basic right of every human being.

  • Safe Schools Declaration of 2015

The Safe Schools Declaration is an inter-governmental political commitment that was opened for endorsement by countries at an international conference held in Oslo, Norway, on 28-29 May 2015. The Declaration provides countries the opportunity to express political support for the protection of students, teachers, and schools during times of armed conflict; the importance of the continuation of education during armed conflict; and the implementation of the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict.

  • The Right to Education Programme.
  • Phase one of the UNRCPD
  • Aforementioned
  • Phase two of the UNRCPD
  • Aforementioned

Previous Attempts to solve the Issue

In 2001, the United Nations Secretary-General convened a Group of Governmental Experts to examine the topic of disarmament and non-proliferation education and training. It was during this time that it was stated, “Disarmament and non-proliferation education is a crucial tool that will build a culture of peace and, in the words of the preamble to the United Nations Charter, save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. While it is a long-term investment and one that requires continuous attention, it is one that we simply cannot afford to neglect.”

However, there have been no relevant or notable attempts to solve this issue previous to the steps taken by the UNRCPD. Events such as Poetry for Peace, Art for Peace and Poster for Peace were rather smaller steps taken into solving the issue at hand.

Possible Solutions

Awareness of this issue is very important, the reason for this is because spreading awareness on the lack of disarmament education can encourage schools to put it into their school systems which will not only help the UNRCPD but also benefit the students. The students can learn how they can play a crucial role in this issue and how they can resort from violence to save this planet. Implementing phases one and two could be very helpful because they help educate students and the curriculum that they are using is more directed towards teaching young children and also teaching children from grades 8-12. This program can not only help educate a few numbers of students but a whole school.

Integration of the program into countries in the midst of conflict or post conflict. This holds great importance as there has been little to no evidence of such programmes in countries such as Somalia. The global integration of such programmes is not only necessary however should be mandatory for primary school children.

Appeal of the programme to various entities involved. Such programmes not only need to appeal to the students benefiting from them, however also need to appeal to volunteers. sponsors and governments around the globe through incentives, statistics or even emotions as globalisation is a major key towards the success of such programmes.

Incentives should be provided to various educational organizations to include disarmament education into their curricula, understanding the balance between fear and knowledge. These incentives could include, prizes for the students, provisions of scholarships and promises to higher education.

Ambassadors from various of these programmes could further entice the appeal of such programmes to various students and to further volunteers and even more so to the educational systems or organizations in their countries or globally.

Currentness of these programmes could be further developed and measures can be taken to appeal to the youth of today by strategizing of how to make these programmes more current possibly through the integration of technological provisions such as videos, websites, etc. Furthermore, current students globally, interested in such issues could partake in a committee where as their input would be the major however not only contributor to such programmes.

Support from More Economically Developed Countries (MEDC’s) whether financial, social or simply advisory.


  1. Welcome to the United Nations, Accessed 21 Feb. 2019.
  2. Twenty4. ‘Peace and Disarmament Education Discussions ‘Creating Safe Spaces for Youth’.’ UNRCPD, Accessed 13 Feb. 2019.
  3. ‘Disarmament Education.’ Welcome to the United Nations, Accessed 10 Feb. 2019.
  4. ‘Iraq 10 Years On: In Numbers.’ BBC News, 20 Mar. 2013, Accessed 21 Feb. 2019.

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