5 October 2006
Press Release

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York




The third segment of the 2006 Disarmament Fellowship Programme starts today at the United Nations Headquarters, for a period of four weeks, with the participation of young diplomats from 30 Member States of the Organization.

The New York segment is meant primarily to familiarize the Fellows with the work of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) of the General Assembly.  The Fellows will be briefed by members of delegations to the First Committee and United Nations officials, including the Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, on items on the agenda of the Committee, and will attend meetings of the Committee.  In addition, the Fellows will be engaged in the practical exercise on the drafting, introduction and taking actions on draft resolutions as carried out in the First Committee.  They will also attend a seminar organized by the Centre for Non-proliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute of International Studies and finalize individual research papers that they are required to prepare in the course of the programme, on a topic of their choice, relating to disarmament and international security.

Diplomats from the following 30 Member States are participating in the 2006 Disarmament Fellowship Programme:  Argentina, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Chile, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Georgia, Guinea, India, Iran, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, the Russian Federation, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey, the United States and Zimbabwe.

The Geneva segment of the Programme, which was carried out from 28 August to 12 September, was primarily aimed at familiarizing the Fellows with issues on the agenda of the Conference on Disarmament.  This year’s segment included a cycle of lectures by senior representatives of States members of the Conference on Disarmament, by the Deputy Secretary-General of the Conference, and by staff members of the Geneva branch of the Department for Disarmament Affairs, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces.  The Fellows also attended meetings of the Conference on Disarmament and followed a seminar organized by UNIDIR.

Between 12 September and 4 October, the Fellows participated in study visits to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna, and to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague.  They also visited Germany, China and Japan, at the invitation of the respective Governments.

The United Nations Disarmament Fellowship Programme was launched by the first special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament in 1978 and aims at (a) the training and specialization in the field of disarmament of national officials in more Member States, particularly in the developing countries, and (b) enabling them to participate more effectively in international deliberating and negotiating forums.  Implemented by the Department for Disarmament Affairs, the Programme has trained, in the 27 years of its existence, 704 officials from 155 countries.  A large number of them are now in positions of responsibility in the field of disarmament within their own Governments.  The Programme has enabled former Fellows to participate more effectively in regional and global efforts in the field of disarmament and, by creating an informal network spanning the various regions of the world, to work cooperatively and constructively in the pursuance of disarmament and arms limitation goals.

The Programme will conclude at United Nations Headquarters on 1 November.  The Fellows will be awarded certificates of participation by the Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, Nobuaki Tanaka.

For further information, please contact Jerzy Zaleski, c/o Jenny Fuchs, Department for Disarmament Affairs, room 3150, tel. 212 963 2386.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record