16 December 2008
Press Release

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




NEW YORK, 16 December (Office for Disarmament Affairs) -- In cooperation with the Government of Nepal, and with the financial support from the European Union, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs is organizing a regional seminar entitled “Promoting the Universality of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and its annexed Protocols inSouth Asia, South-East Asia and the Pacific islands”.  The seminar will take place in Kathmandu on 17 and 18 December 2008.

The regional seminar is aimed at supporting the universality of the Convention and its Protocols by promoting accession to it by States from the region that are not yet party to it, and to encourage these States to initiate the necessary national processes.  The seminar will serve as a forum for participants to exchange views on the benefits of adherence to the Convention, as well as the challenges of implementing its provisions.  Participants will have an opportunity to share experiences and lessons learned in respect of implementing the Convention.  Further, the seminar will provide information on the aims and functioning of the Convention’s various mechanisms and tools.

The seminar will draw participants from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Viet Nam.  Officials and experts from the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, the EU, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) will share their expertise in this area and provide information and advice on ratification and implementation of the Convention.  Several regional and subregional organizations, such as the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) were also invited to attend.

The seminar is the last of six regional seminars organized by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and financed by the European Union through its Joint Action (23 July 2007) in implementing the Convention’s Plan of Action on Promoting the Universality of the Convention and its annexed Protocols.  Previous seminars were held in the Caribbean region, East and West Africa, Great Lakes, Horn of Africa and Southern Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East and the Mediterranean region.


The Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (CCW, also known as the Inhumane Weapons Convention) was opened for signature at New York on 10 April 1981 and entered into force on 2 December 1983.  It currently has 108 States Parties.  The Secretary-General of the United Nations is the depositary of the Convention.  The Convention seeks to protect civilians and combatants from the effects of specific weapons used in armed conflict.  It consists of a framework instrument (the Convention) and five protocols, each of them regulating a category of weapons.

For more information pertaining to the Convention, please contact ccw@unog.ch or consult the official website at http://www.unog.ch/ccw.

For further information on the seminar, please contact Xiaoyu Wang, Senior Political Affairs Officer, Regional Disarmament Branch, Office for Disarmament Affairs, at tel:  +1 212 963 9440/6208, Fax:  +1 212 963 4989, e-mail:  wangxy@un.org and haregwein@un.org.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record