Nuclear Disarmament, an internship reflection

As our internships with PAX’ nuclear disarmament team in the humanitarian disarmament division will soon come to an end, we (Nora and Roelien) are happy to take this opportunity to briefly reflect upon our experiences as interns at PAX.

Our focus points

Roelien: As the internship was relatively short, there was one topic that formed my main focus: the upcoming Review Conference of the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). During my internship, I contributed to a policy brief in which PAX provides recommendations to states parties to the NPT in the run up to the 2022 Review Conference. Furthermore, I got to write a series of blogs where I discuss the recommendations given in the policy brief more elaborately. The first of these blogs, in which I discuss the importance of gender equality in the NPT review process, has already been published on the NoNukes website.

Nora: Among my tasks were performing an update of the annual Don’t Bank on the Bomb report and the drafting of blog posts on relevant developments in the field. While the former revealed to me the immense scope of nuclear investments, the latter allowed me to hone in on my writing skills and create valuable pieces on nuclear risk reduction, the EU’s role in nuclear disarmament and the protection of civilians against weapons of mass destruction. In this pursuit I attended multiple thought-provoking webinars related to new threats and challenges the EU and NATO are facing.

What’s a remote internship like?

Nora: Working from home during the entire length of the internship came with its perks, but should not be compared to what it would have been like if making on-site office hours were possible. Fortunately, a very present lack of personal interaction and a total dependency on technology were placed at opposite ends with time and location flexibility and incredibly supportive colleagues.

Roelien: While my internship took place remotely, it still provided me with the opportunity to familiarize myself with the field of nuclear disarmament and the work of PAX in general. 

Overall reflections

Roelien: Overall, the internship has been a very valuable experience. During my time at PAX, I was given a lot of opportunities to develop my skills and occupy myself with subjects of my interest. When I started this internship, I did not have any experience within this field, and I learned a lot about nuclear disarmament in a short time span, through reading various sources, attending webinars, participating in both internal and external meetings, and working with knowledgeable and inspiring people. One thing I especially appreciate about my internship at PAX is that there was a lot of room for creativity and developing new skills. Apart from learning a lot about nuclear disarmament, I also learned how to create designs in Canva, how to write blogs and update websites using WordPress, how to create and schedule tweets in TweetDeck, and how to make content for and design an email newsletter. I really enjoyed creating written and visual content and I look forward to using these newly acquired skills in the future.

Nora: Whilst I already followed the news and developments surrounding nuclear weapons and disarmament out of personal and academic interest, interning with PAX has allowed me to delve into it even deeper. Aspects of financial institutions, divestment, and gender and their link with nuclear weapons were brought even closer into my peripheral. I also became aware of the many other organizations active in the field do amazing advocacy work. I even got to speak with a couple of representatives of important organizations in the nuclear disarmament debate like the International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (I*CAN) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

What’s next?

Nora: Overall, I feel grateful to have had this opportunity in gaining some precious insights into the meaningful advocacy work of an NGO and the largest Dutch peace organization. Alongside my internship with PAX, I finished the first year of Uppsala University’s Master’s programme of Peace and Conflict studies. As part of my final year with this programme I look forward to starting another internship after the summer. Just like with the humanitarian disarmament division, I hope it will teach me more about investigative journalism, new defense technologies and underexposed aspects of (nuclear) disarmament and divestment. Want to stay updated on what I do next? Follow me on Twitter or link with me on Linkedin!

Roelien: I thoroughly enjoyed my internship at PAX and being part of the NoNukes team. Now, as a recent graduate of the Master Conflict Studies and Human Rights, I am looking forward to new adventures where I can use my creativity and analytical skills to help others and contribute to justice, equality, and peace within the world. If you would like to see where I go next, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.