Hollywood actor Michael Douglas has urged young people to use social media to push for arms control, as he launched a United Nations educational booklet on proliferation aimed at school and college students.
The book, Action for Disarmament: 10 Things You Can Do, offers a list of ways grass-roots activists can get involved in arms control efforts, such as organising film screenings and discussion groups, or mounting a campaign via Twitter.
“To the youth here today I just want to tell you you guys you hold an enormous power, the power to make changes and make this world a better place to live,” Douglas told an audience of students on Tuesday.
“Facebook, YouTube… and now Twitter are shaping the news and public opinions and attitudes.”
“You can start a Twitter campaign or create a club… I encourage you to spread this message and be the new leaders of change.”
Douglas, 69, said he was keenly aware of the issues surrounding nuclear weapons, noting that his father Kirk Douglas’s parents had hailed from the Belarus city of Gomel, affected by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
Douglas has been a UN Messenger of Peace since 1998, and regularly campaigns for disarmament. UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane meanwhile told Tuesday’s audience that $US4.4 billion ($A4.7 billion) were spent on the military across the world every day.
“The world is overarmed and peace is underfunded,” she said.