Newsletter June 2003


Ukrainian and American Students Discuss Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation


On May 12, 2003 high school students from Ukraine and the United States along with Democratic Senator Robert E. Andrews all gathered to discuss primarily the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. However, this event was held in a different fashion in that the participants were in their home countries and were able to connect to each other via video-conferencing technology.


The Ukrainian students had a personal experience to the discussion as the Ukraine has played a very notable role as one of the first nations to abandon its weapons of mass destruction.


Such an international youth event was possible thanks to the technology of video-conferencing, which unites the images and voices of people from different parts of the world. The idea, originally developed by Global Education Motivators (GEM), a UN non-profit organization focusing on developing global education programs while “bringing the world into the classroom”, has united educators, intellectuals, and non-profit organizations, which all dedicate their efforts to peace, the development of democracy, and weapons non-proliferation.


On this occasion the Association to Unite the Democracies was presented as an observer, though it has had a long-standing relationship with friends from Ukraine and other Eastern European states. As GEM’s partner in Washington, D.C., AUD will use the video-conferencing technology to foster dialogue between students all over the world. Elected officials, academics from leading institutions, and international personnel have already been invited to our studio. Using our video-conferencing equipment, they will integrate classrooms in different countries to discuss international peace issues. We believe in education and intercultural exchange as a means of facilitating the spread of democracy and freedom.