Youth Fusion Announced as Winner of Prestigious Voices Gorbachev/Shultz Legacy Youth Award August 6, 2022


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Former US Secretary of State George P. Shultz and former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev

Former US Secretary of State George P. Shultz and former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev

Youth Fusion leaders Vanda Proskova and Nico Edwards

Youth Fusion leaders Vanda Proskova and Nico Edwards

Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons selects Youth Fusion, from Abolition 2000, as the winner of the Voices Gorbachev/Shultz Legacy Youth Award for 2022.

As the world faces the horrors of climate change, poverty, inequality, degradation and global violence, Youth Fusion organizes and amplifies the voices of young people, who need to be heard….

— Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi

SAN FRANCISCO, California, USA, Aug. 6, 2022 / — The prize continues the nuclear disarmament legacy of Mikhail Gorbachev, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former President of the USSR; and George Shultz, former US Secretary of State and co-founder of Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons. The winner is announced today – the anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and the inauguration of the first annual day of nuclear prayer. The award will be presented to Youth Fusion at a special ceremony on September 26, the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

This is the third time the prize has been awarded. The first Voices Youth Award was given in 2020 to Kehkashan Basu, President and Founder of the Green Hope Foundation, a United Nations human rights champion who was named one of the top 100 SDG leaders in the world. The second prize was awarded in 2021 to Sahil Shah, policy researcher at the European Leadership Network and former policy and outreach consultant to the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

Youth Fusion received the 2022 award for its leadership in promoting intergenerational cooperation on peace and disarmament, the human rights aspects of the nuclear arms race, innovative and interactive methods to engage young people in nuclear disarmament issues, and to establish links and cooperation between peace, nuclear disarmament, climate action and public health.

Youth Fusion has done this through Youth Fusion programs/initiatives such as Youth Fusion Elders, Youth Fusion Experts Podcast series, and Nuclear Collateral Damage: Conversations with Survivors and Experts, and through joint programs in which they take leadership with others including #StepUp4Disarmament Youth Campaign, Move the Money from Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Games (currently rebranded as Nuclear Fear), Nuclear Missile 3D Interactive Art Initiative, NoFirstUse Global & Don’t even THINK about start a Nuclear war, intergenerational forums on peace, nuclear disarmament and climate action, nuclear weapons and human rights, the Climate/Nuclear Disarmament Nexus, intergenerational events for International Women’s Day for peace and disarmament (see event 2022) and much more.

Youth Fusion is led by Marzhan Nurzhan (Kazakhstan/Switzerland), Vanda Proskova (Czech Republic), Michaela Sorensen (Mozambique/Denmark) and Nico Edwards (Sweden/UK), all of whom are former parliamentarian interns for the non -nuclear proliferation and disarmament. (PNND) and graduates of the Peace and Security Scholarship Program of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) – United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). (See 2022 OSCE-UNODA Peace and Security Fellowship Feedback).

Youth Fusion members come from Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and the Pacific – including some from countries affected by the catastrophic human and environmental consequences of nuclear weapons. In addition, Youth Fusion has established strong partnerships with key groups including the United Nations, parliamentarians and mayors, scientists/academics, religious leaders and civil society organizations.

Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons, which awards the prize to Youth Fusion, is part of the United Religions Initiative (URI), the world’s largest grassroots interfaith network: building bridges by working together on practical projects that strengthen civil communities and understanding between people of different religious and cultural traditions.

A few accolades for Youth Fusion who won the Voices Gorbachev/Shultz Legacy Youth Award 2022.
Young people are rising up against the evils perpetrated by the elders. Massive spending on war economies, nuclear proliferation and blatant disregard for consequences are a grave accusation against the ancients. As the world faces the horrors of climate change, poverty, inequality, degradation and global violence, Youth Fusion organizes and amplifies the voices of young people, which must be heard and taken into account if the everyone wants to survive.
Ela Gandhi, co-chair of Religions for Peace and granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi.

“The goal and intent of Youth Fusion is to inform, educate, connect and engage their fellow citizens across the globe has been a success, but through their innovation, hard work, determination and their intelligence, they have gained increasing influence across age groups and the international body politic.As a parliamentarian, I have had the privilege of interacting with and learning from Youth Fusion members. My colleagues and I at PNND are delighted that Youth Fusion has been recognized as the winner of the Gorbachev/Shultz, Voices Youth Award 2022.
Bill Kidd MSP, Chairman of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Nuclear Disarmament; PNND Co-Chair of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND).

“As the ‘founding mother’ of the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons, it is gratifying and hopeful to see Youth Fusion emerge as the next generation of leaders working for a world without nuclear weapons. Above all, they recognize the interconnected nature of the many crises facing humanity and value intergenerational dialogue through which the young and the more experienced can listen to and learn from each other. Congratulations to Youth Fusion for receiving the 2022 Gorbachev/Shultz Voices Youth Prize! »
Jackie Cabasso, Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation

“Youth Fusion’s contribution to the nuclear disarmament movement is invaluable. Through fruitful dialogue with people of all ages, disciplines, cultures and geopolitical backgrounds, Youth Fusion leaders have highlighted the interdependence of the nuclear threat with other major challenges facing humanity. The fresh and critical voices of the youth are essential to get rid once and for all of the Cold War mentality that still prevails and is taking new and dangerous turns. Allow me to congratulate Voices for the judicious selection of this year’s award and wish Youth Fusion a bright and successful future!
Teacher. Ana Maria Cetto. Research Professor at the Institute of Physics, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Mexican Woman of the Year in 2003. Member of the World Future Council.

“Youth Fusion’s passion for a sustainable future is expressed in a level of professionalism and moral clarity that is lacking in the leadership of the world’s most powerful nations. They persist in producing more armaments and failing to meet their disarmament commitments. Youth Fusion supports and produces practical proposals that increase global security and inspire.
Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute

Julie Schelling
Voice for a world without nuclear weapons
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