15/07/2002
Press Release
DC/2834



ADVISORY BOARD ON DISARMAMENT MATTERS TO MEET IN GENEVA, 17 - 19 JULY


NEW YORK, 15 July (Department for Disarmament Affairs) -- The Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters will meet for a three-day closed session in Geneva from 17 to 19 July 2002.  Its last session was held in New York from 30 January to 1 February 2002.  The Board meets twice a year.


The Board is tasked with advising the Secretary-General on matters within the area of arms limitation and disarmament, including on studies and research under the auspices of the United Nations or institutions within the United Nations system.


At its thirty-ninth session, the Board will discuss, among other things, issues related to the preparedness of public health systems to deal with bio-terrorism; nuclear security and safety; the weaponization of outer space; rising military expenditures; and disarmament and development.


The Board also serves as the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).  Located in Geneva, UNIDIR is an autonomous institution within the framework of the United Nations undertaking independent research on disarmament and international security issues.  In that capacity, the Board will review the report of the Director of UNIDIR on the activities of the Institute for the period August 2001 to July 2002 and planned activities for 2003 and beyond.


The session will be chaired by Arundhati Ghose of India.  The Board is composed of a group of 22 experts, appointed by the Secretary-General on the basis of their expertise in the field of disarmament and/or the wider field of international security, taking into account the principle of equitable geographical representation.  The Director of UNIDIR participates as ex-officio member of the Board.


The Secretary-General, as requested by the Assembly in 1983 (resolution 38/183 O), will submit a report on the work of the Board to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session.  The latest report is contained in document A/56/418, dated 27 September 2001.


The Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters was established in 1978 pursuant to paragraph 124 of the Final Document of the tenth special session of the General Assembly, and received its current mandate pursuant to General Assembly decision 54/418 of 1 December 1999.  The Advisory Board has the following functions:  to advise the Secretary-General on matters within the area of arms limitation and


disarmament, including on studies and research under the auspices of the United Nations or institutions within the United Nations system; to serve as the Board of Trustees of UNIDIR; to advise the Secretary-General on the implementation of the United Nations Disarmament Information Programme.


Contact:  Xiaoyu Wang, Secretary of the Advisory Board, Department for Disarmament Affairs, New York, tel. 963-9440; Geneva Tie Line (15-20 July):

26-7-3036; e-mail address:  wangxy@un.org.


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