Sebastian Cooper

Parksville grad speaks to UN conference

Sebastian Cooper graduated from Ballenas in 2012 and is currently working on the Ban the Bomb campaign

CARLI BERRY

news@pqbnews.com

A graduate of Parksville’s Ballenas Secondary School attended at UN-sponsored conference  in Austria with his colleagues to present their anti-nuclear weapon campaign.

Sebastian Cooper graduated from Ballenas in 2012 and is currently working on the Ban the Bomb campaign which focuses on bringing awareness to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

At Ballenas he took a Civics 11 class that allowed him to take a different approach to projects that influences him now, he said. “That was very much a class that inspired active participation, and taking projects beyond the classroom,” Cooper said.

He said the class was taught by Jennifer Lunny.

Cooper is in his fourth year at UBC in the international relations program and  he said his interest in international relations comes from living in England for the first 10 years of his life, north Vancouver for one and Coombs until graduation.

The goal of the CTBT is to prevent any and all nuclear explosions on earth according to Cooper’s website, banthebombcampaign.com.

However, Cooper said, although many countries have signed the treaty, “we want an enshrined document,” Cooper said.

The treaty right now is not something that is set in stone, Cooper said, it needs to be enforced and “rartified.”

Those alive in the cold war era are familiar with the dangers of nuclear weapons, but the younger generations don’t have that understanding, Cooper said.

His goal is to “mobilize public support,” he said.

The Ban the Bomb campaign uses social media to “bridge the generational gap,” Cooper said.

Cooper said he wants to utilize social media to allow the public to gain a greater understanding of the dangers of nuclear weapons.

On Facebook, Cooper said, some of the posts have received thousands of hits. “We’ve really been surprised by it all,” Cooper said.

Cooper and two other UBC students presented their work at the CTBTO: (Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization)  Science and Technology 2015 conference which took place from June 22 to 26 in  Vienna, Austria.

Cooper said the conference “was such an amazing thing” because it allowed him to make contacts and exchange ideas with leading professionals in the field.

The Ban the Bomb campaign came out of a political science class Cooper attended that’s mission was to bring both engineering students and political science students together, he said.

The mission of the project was to come up with ways to “strengthen the CTBTO,” Cooper said. He said they plan to reach out to the contacts they made while at the conference and still update social media. “It was a group effort,” Cooper said he worked together with his group to create the campaign.

To view their campaign visit their website at banthebombcampaign.com or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #BanTheBomb.

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