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2008 European Student Meeting

Target Earth

12/09/2008 This year’s European Student Meeting took place during three days between 27-30th of November in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Around 80 students participated, representing 20 countries. Some of them came from countries that had not previously taken part in any IPPNW student meetings.

The conference was preceded by a demonstration organized by the conference organizing committee outside the Volkel airbase in Netherlands, where around 20 American nuclear weapons are stored under the so called NATO nuclear umbrella. The demonstration received great media attention (in fact, there where more journalists than demonstrators present!).
The theme of this year’s conference was Target Earth. The program was divided into three parts: "Nuclear Weapons and Terrorism", "Different Views on War and Peace" and "Climate". Prominent speakers from IPPNW such as Victor Sidel, Hermann Spanjaard and Caecilie Buhmann contributed to the conference, as well as speakers from research institutes and the parliament. In addition to the plenaries, numerous educating workshops were provided covering a range of topics from debate training to nuclear weapons and human rights. All workshops were well attended and received in general a very positive response from its participants.
During the conference a new European Student Representative was elected. Carlos Ferreira from Portugal, the leader of last years organizing committee for the European Student Meeting in Porto, was unanimously elected. He is replacing Andra Korbu from Romania who has now resigned from the post after two years.
In addition to the conference program, a rich social program was arranged by the OC. Amongst others, the traditional cultural evening with delicacies from different countries, a boat tour through the various canals in Amsterdam and a delicious dinner at a Chinese restaurant on a boat.
The conference rounded off with Target X at three different locations in Amsterdam, in order to reach as many citizens as possible.
In conclusion, this was a very well organized conference with a rich program. Hopefully, all of the participants have been inspired and are enthusiastic to engage in IPPNW activities back home or internationally. In fact, many students from countries with no previous student chapter have asked how they can start a student group when they return home. Wishing them the best of luck! At last, THANK YOU to the organizing committee that has put down loads of work and energy into making this conference a success!
Pictures from this conference are available thanks to Roman Sandoz at www.flickr.com/photos/roman_sandoz/collections/72157610624662607/.
Take a peek!
Wenjing Tao
on behalf of the student movement


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