7 October 2013
Press Release

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

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs Fellowship Programme to Enhance

Young Diplomats’ Expertise Begins Final Segment Today at Headquarters

NEW YORK, 7 October (Office for Disarmament Affairs) — The annual United Nations Disarmament Fellowship Programme will commence its third and final segment today at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Young diplomats and other public officials from the following 25 Member States are participating in the 2013 Programme:  Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Hungary, Iran, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mexico, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, United States and Uruguay.

The New York segment aims to expose the participating Fellows to the work of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) of the General Assembly.  Besides attending Committee meetings, they will participate in presentations and briefings on a wide range of disarmament and non-proliferation issues by senior diplomats and United Nations officials, including the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.  They will follow discussions on items on the Committee’s agenda and attend other associated events.

In addition, the Fellows will be engaged in practical exercises, including on drafting, introducing and taking action on draft resolutions as carried out in the Committee; round-table discussions on various security- and disarmament-related issues; and a simulation exercise organized by the Office for Disarmament Affairs and the Centre for Non-proliferation Studies in Monterey, California.  They will also be finalizing their individual research papers on topics of their choice relating to disarmament and international security.

The Fellowship Programme’s initial segment started in Geneva on 26 August and was aimed particularly at exposing the Fellows to issues on the work of the Conference on Disarmament, including observing the Conference’s meetings, attending briefings and seminars on various disarmament topics.  The Fellows also participated in a one-day study visit to Bern, organized by Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.  The Geneva segment was followed by study visits to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna, and to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague.  Subsequently, the Fellows participated in study visits to Germany, Kazakhstan, China and Japan, at the invitation of the respective Governments.

Launched by the General Assembly in 1978, the aim of the Fellowship Programme was to promote national disarmament expertise in Member States, particularly developing countries.  Implemented by the Office for Disarmament Affairs, it has, in the 35 years of its existence, trained public officials from over 160 Member States, a large number of whom now hold important positions of responsibility in the disarmament field within their own Governments.  The Programme has enabled former Fellows to participate more effectively in regional and global disarmament efforts, and, by creating an informal network spanning the various regions of the world, to work cooperatively and constructively in pursuit of disarmament and non-proliferation goals.

After completing the nine-week Programme at Headquarters on 24 October, the 2013 Fellows will be awarded certificates of participation by Ms. Angela Kane, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.

For further information, please contact Xiaoyu Wang, Coordinator of the Fellowship Programme, Office for Disarmament Affairs, Room S-3159, at tel.:  +1 212 963 9440; or Jenny Fuchs, Office for Disarmament Affairs, Room S-3170, at tel.:  +1 212 963 2386.

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For information media • not an official record