Actor Michael Douglas speaks during a launch event for the book Action For Disarmament: 10 Things You Can Do, at the UN headquarters in New York. Picture: Jason DeCrow

New York -

Oscar winner Michael Douglas on Tuesday called for a global disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, asking young people to be “the new leaders of change”.

Speaking at the launch of a book he co-financed - Action For Disarmament: 10 Things You Can Do - the 69-year-old said the 20th century witnessed two world wars and the “development of weapons of mass destruction at a level that no-one could possibly ever imagine before”.

Douglas, who is a UN peace ambassador, said the 21st century is still plagued by conflict and suffering.

“When we turn on the news, you witness images of pain and suffering in conflicts in Syria, in Central African Republic and hopefully not in Ukraine,” he said.

At UN headquarters in New York, Douglas called on a group of students attending the book ceremony to work for peace by getting involved in peace campaigns through social media.

“You guys hold an enormous power. You have power to make changes and to make this world a better place,” he said. - Sapa-dpa