Audrey Kelly ’24

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, New York, NY

This summer, I participated in the Global Youth Activism Summer Internship program at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF)—a nonpartisan, nonprofit with consultative status to the United Nations that aims to achieve a just and peaceful world free of nuclear weapons—as well as Reverse The Trend: Save Our People, Save Our Planet, a youth initiative of which the NAPF is the primary fiscal sponsor and which aims to raise awareness about the threats of nuclear weapons and climate change with a focus on amplifying the voices of young people from frontline communities.

I attended the First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations Headquarters in Vienna, Austria. This conference was a historic moment during which TPNW signatory states gathered to discuss the implementation and universalization of the TPNW, the first international treaty to comprehensively ban nuclear weapons as well as to acknowledge the gendered impacts of nuclear weapons and call for victim assistance, environmental remediation and international cooperation. The bulk of my work consisted of live tweeting from the NAPF, NAPF NY and RTT Twitter accounts and subsequently drafting a report on the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.

A significant portion of my internship was spent attending and monitoring the Tenth Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which took place at the New York City United Nations headquarters. I was predominantly live tweeting and note-taking for NAPF and RTT, but I also had the opportunity to work closely with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. While the RevCon was a great learning experience, it was, ultimately, unsuccessful: the drafted outcome documents failed to be adopted by consensus, and little progress was made in advancing the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation agenda and setting concrete goals in these respects.

This internship has impacted my tentative career and postgraduate plans. While I am uncertain about whether or not nuclear abolition is a field in which I intend to remain long-term, my status as a coordinator for the Francophone branch of Reverse The Trend means that I will continue to work with RTT and the NAPF. I want to pursue a profession that allows me to make substantive change in the world and contribute to the dismantlement of oppressive systems that inflict violence upon marginalized bodies. I am strongly contemplating a career in law, but my newfound interest in nuclear disarmament has made me consider other options.

I would like to thank the ’68 Center for Career Exploration as well as the Class of 1972, whose generosity made my participation in this internship possible. I would also like to thank Christian Ciobanu and all of the other wonderful people at the NAPF, RTT and other nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation organizations whom I had the pleasure of working with and learning from.