Youth Leader Fund for a World without Nuclear Weapons

Young, future leaders global training programme for a world free of nuclear weapons

The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) and the government of Japan are calling on young people to apply for an innovative learning programme “Youth Leader Fund for a World Without Nuclear Weapons”.

Meet the 2023-2024 cohort!

The new learning programme is aimed at equipping the leaders of the future with the knowledge, skills, and network to join global efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons – the most dangerous weapons on earth.

The programme is seeking youth who are motivated to use their talents to promote change for a more peaceful and secure world.

What is unique about this programme?

The selected participants will receive training in general principles of nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control through online courses, with a selected cohort going on a week-long in-person study tour to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The future leaders will also exchange ideas with disarmament experts from think tanks, civil society organizations, media, and the diplomatic field, and will be provided with the opportunity to develop practical skills and know-how to engage and practically contribute to issues related to nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control.

Importantly, participants will learn about the lessons that the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, called hibakusha, have long been sharing with the world about the unimaginable suffering caused by nuclear weapons. As the hibakusha continue to age, it is vital that their powerful stories and appeals to eliminate nuclear weapons are carried forward by future generations.

Who is the target audience of the programme?

The intention is to bring together an eclectic and geographically diverse group of advocates for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament aged between 18 and 29 years. 

Young people interested or active in international affairs, such as government or civil society organisations, as well as those with a background or interest in education, academia, journalism, industry, and other areas, are encouraged to apply.

The programme is open to youth from across the globe, from nuclear-weapon States and non-nuclear-weapon States alike.

How is the programme organised?

This comprehensive programme combines interactive online learning, an immersive study tour, participation in a youth-led conference and collaborative activities.

Interactive online component lasting 4 months:

The programme kicks off with an engaging and interactive online component. Through self-paced eLearning modules participants will acquire a solid knowledge base on key disarmament and non-proliferation issues. In addition, they will have the opportunity to enhance their skills through skill-building workshops and live webinars, where they can interact in real-time with disarmament experts and fellow participants. The weekly time commitment for this component is approximately 4-6 hours.

In-person study tour to Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Fully-funded):

Upon successful completion of the online component, a select group of 50 participants will embark on a 6-day study tour to Japan. This experience will bring them to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where they will engage with hibakusha, the survivors of the atomic bombings, and other. Additionally, they will participate actively in a youth-led conference, fostering meaningful discussions and exchange of ideas.

Collaborative creation of impactful activities:

Beyond the conference, participants will play a vital role in creating impactful activities that can be shared with their respective communities. These activities will aim to raise awareness and inspire positive change towards a world without nuclear weapons.

Mentoring the next cohort:

Upon programme completion, participants will remain involved through mentoring the next cohort of aspiring youth leaders. By sharing their insights and experiences, they will guide and inspire future participants.

What will participants learn?

The programme will provide foundational skills and knowledge including on disarmament, non-proliferation and development-related issues; conflict prevention and resolution; arms control; confidence- and security-building measures. All topics will be examined in the context of working for a world free of nuclear weapons. Participants will also hone their leadership, communications and related skills. 

What do participants need to join the programme?

For online training courses:

·        a computer or mobile device, with audio;

·        a reliable internet connection;

·        no special software is required;

·        no previous knowledge of non-proliferation and disarmament issues is required; 

·        proficiency in English is required.


In-person study trip to Japan (if selected):

·        availability to travel to Japan for 6-7 days to take part to the study visit and the education activities;

·        valid travel documents (valid passport and visa, as required, prior to travel)

What is covered by the programme?

  • Registration fee for the online foundation course (eLearning modules, skill-building workshops and live webinars)

For those selected for the study trip

  • Travel costs to/from indicated residency to Japan in economy class fare
  • Participation in Japan based activities
  • Accommodation and subsistence allowance for 1 week
  • It is the responsibility of participants to obtain valid travel documents and visa. A valid global medical insurance is recommended.

What kind of certification will the participants receive?

Certificate of completion: all participants successfully completing the on-line component will receive an official certificate of completion from UNODA.

What is the schedule of the programme?

Dates are subject to confirmation.

Application period

18 May – 31 July 2023

Number of participants selected for the online foundation course


Online course starting

4th quarter of 2023

Selection of in-person study trip participants

Summer 2024

Number of participant’s selected for in-person study trip


Study trip to Hiroshima and Nagasaki

3rd quarter of 2024

Eligibility criteria


  • At least 18 years old on 1 January 2023 
  • Not older than 29 years old on 31 July 2023 (closing date of the call for application)
  • Birth date between 1 August 1993 and 1 January 2005


The programme is open to national from all countries and territories


The training courses will be conducted in English only. Proficiency in English is required to participate


To apply for the programme, it is not necessary to have any specific degree or qualification. The programme is open to individuals from diverse educational backgrounds who have an interest in contributing to a world free of nuclear weapons and a willingness to learn.

No previous knowledge of non-proliferation and disarmament issues is required. We encourage applications from those new to the area.

The programme may be suitable for students, for those who have recently completed their education, and for those who are early or mid-career and are seeking to expand their knowledge and skills.

Selection process


The selection process for the 2023-2024 cohort has been completed. All applicants should have received a response informing them of the outcome of their application. A new call for applications is expected in 2025. Failure to be selected for the current cohort does not prejudice application for future iterations of this learning programme. Thank you for your continued interest in the Youth Leader Fund for a World Without Nuclear Weapons.

Application deadline

2025 deadline to be announced.


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