What will the world look like 20 years from now?

The following is an extract from the CTBTO Youth Group Report for the CTBT 20th Anniversary .  It was part  a special initiative that brought together youth representatives from seven of the eight Annex 2 States yet to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The report reflects six weeks of their working together on joint research.

In 1960, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower said “I am of the belief, if you could have a ban on all [nuclear] testing, that everybody could have confidence in, it would be a very, very fine thing to stop this…”

In 1996, Eisenhower’s words seemed more prophetic than wistful. But after 20 years on the threshold of this very possibility, our generation has been saddled with the burden of an unfulfilled promise.
“20 years ago, did you think we would be here today? Have you thought about where we will be 20 years from now? We have,”

In 2016, a group of young people from the Annex 2 States who have yet to ratify the CTBT came together and collectively imagined what a world with the CTBT in force, 20 years from this exact point, could be like.

We believe that in 20 years, an in-force CTBT will provide important benefits for global security and humankind.
“We envision a world in which countries have recognized that they don’t give up their sovereign right to national security and have recognized that their security interests aren’t threatened by this Treaty, but enhanced by it; that the Treaty is not, nor was it ever meant to be, the solution to global instability, but rather a vital step towards security and peace,”

This is a step towards increased trust and transparency among traditional rivals, a step towards strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the international non-proliferation regime, and ultimately a step towards a world free of nuclear weapons.

But global security is not the only benefit to be reaped with a legally binding nuclear-testing treaty. International collaboration and exciting new challenges in science would provide opportunities for young scientists and innovative thinkers who are working together on a range of issues. From strengthening the CTBT’s International Monitoring System to advancing the analysis of the International Data Centre and the Global Seismic Network (GSN), or even helping to develop an individual country’s indigenous verification and detection capabilities, these young people would benefit from this new world.

Ken-Ben Chao, Youth Group member speaking at the 46th session of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission.

“The potential for ancillary benefits to an in-force CTBT are rife; imagine CTBTO detection infrastructure and data providing early warnings for earthquakes in Pakistan or for tsunamis threatening coastal nuclear facilities in China. Imagine an Iran that has an emphasis on investing in early-career scientists, who flock to their peaceful nuclear energy program. These outcomes don’t have to be imaginary,”

20 years ago, you were probably like us: young, energetic, and idealistic. And now we are here today commemorating 20 years of a Treaty that has yet to enter into force. The question must be asked again: what do you want our future to look like 20 years from now? For the sake of the generation that will follow in our footsteps, we must do our best to make sure the world they inherit is one in which the CTBT has entered into force.

Read the full report here:

CTBTO Youth Group Report for the CTBT 20th Anniversary
Digital/Online Version ( PDF )
Print Version (Single Pages) ( PDF )