In April 2009, President Obama delivered a speech in Prague, Czech Republic, stating America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. President Obama acknowledged that “this goal will not be reached quickly – perhaps not in [his] lifetime.”
Knowing this, President Obama encouraged the youth of America and indeed, the youth of the world to take on the difficult task of disarmament.
“[I]n your generation, I see the spirit we need in this endeavor -- an optimism that beats in the hearts of so many young people around the world. It’s that refusal to accept the world as it is, the imagination to see the world as it ought to be, and the courage to turn that vision into reality.”
With this charge in mind, the Department of State holds an annual conference devoted to educating younger generations on international security and nuclear disarmament. Striving to present a diverse set of topics to enlighten and engage with youth on these issues, the Bureaus of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance and International Security and Nonproliferation continue to build upon the successes of each year. The 2014 conference marked the five year anniversary of Generation Prague and the focus was on innovation.
Previous speakers have included:
Rose Gottemoeller, Under Secretary of International Security and Arms Control
Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy
Chris Murphy, U.S. Senator (D-CT)
Andrew Weber, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Defense Programs
Sigrid Kaag, OPCW-UN Joint Mission Head
Thomas Countryman, Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation
Laura Holgate, National Security Council Senior Director
Frank Klotz, Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration
Admiral Cecil D. Haney, Commander, USSTRATCOM
The tentative dates for the 6th Annual Generation Prague Conference are July 16-17, 2015.