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IN THIS ISSUE

Secretary-General convenes High-level meeting to rally political support and advance concrete action on Nuclear Safety and Security (NSS)
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Seventh Conference on Facilitating the Entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
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Second Cluster Munitions Convention meeting takes place in Beirut
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Secretary-General's Advisory Board holds 56th session
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UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific The 23rd United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues: "Urgent and United Action Toward a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World" Matsumoto, Japan, 27-29 July 2011
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The 2011 Disarmament Fellowship Programme will undertake its final segment at United Nations Headquarters in New York
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Tokyo University Students, as Part of their Curriculum Interview Atomic Bomb Survivors and Provide their Testimonies to the United Nations
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New Print and Online UNODA Publications

Secretary-General convenes High-level meeting to rally political support and advance concrete action on Nuclear Safety and Security (NSS)

Opening of NPT Review Conference

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) greets Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly, at the opening of high-level meeting on nuclear safety and security, convened by the Secretary-General

The United Nations Secretary-General convened at the High-level Meeting on Nuclear Safety and Security on 22 September 2011. A United Nations system-wide study on the implications of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was prepared for the purposes of the meeting.

Opening the meeting, Mr. Ban said that Fukushima – along with the Chernobyl disaster 25 years ago – served as a "wake-up call" for the world's people. "The effects of nuclear accidents respect no borders. To adequately safeguard our people, we must have strong international consensus and action. We must have strong international safety standards," he told the meeting, which was held on the margins of the annual General Debate of the General Assembly.

"The message has been clear and unified: we cannot accept business as usual – and we all have a stake in getting it right," Mr. Ban said. The opening plenary meeting was also addressed by the Heads of States or Government of Brazil, France, Japan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, and Ukraine as well as the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (by video message).

Sergio Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs

Secretary-General Speaks at Closing of High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Safety and Security
UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs

Following the opening Plenary, two parallel interactive ministerial sessions were held; one was co-chaired by Brazil and Japan and the other was co-chaired by France and the Republic of Korea. In addition, Indonesia and Germany served as discussants for one interactive session, while the Russian Federation, the United States and the United Kingdom were the discussants in the parallel session. The sessions each addressed the theme "Strengthening nuclear safety and nuclear disaster risk preparedness". The High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Mr. Sergio Duarte, and the Under-Secretary-General of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Ms. Valarie Amos, presented simultaneously a summary of the United Nations system-wide study to the two interactive ministerial sessions.

At the closing plenary meeting, the Secretary-General presented a Chairman's summary including suggested actions (hopefully the doc will be out by then). The Secretary-General will transmit his summary to the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly for its consideration.

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See also: Secretary-General's opening remarks  | Secretary-General's closing remarks

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Seventh Conference on Facilitating the Entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Sergio Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs

Secretary-General addresses the Conference on facilitating the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

On 23 September 2011, the Seventh Conference on Facilitating the Entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was held in New York. It is also known as the Article XIV conference, named after that provision of the Treaty which regulates its entry into force. Ms. Patricia Espinosa Cantellano and Mr. Carl Bildt, the Foreign Ministers of Mexico and Sweden, respectively, co-chaired the Conference. This conference took place on the eve of the 15th anniversary of the opening for signature of the Treaty.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressing the conference urged all remaining States to seize the moment and sign and ratify the global treaty banning nuclear tests, with the aim of bringing it into force by 2012. "We know that a comprehensive ban on nuclear tests is an indispensable stepping stone to a nuclear-weapon-free world," he said. "Until we have universal adherence to a legally binding global norm against nuclear testing, there is no guarantee that nuclear tests will not happen again." Mr. Ban said.

To date 182 States have signed the CTBT and 155 have ratified it. For the treaty to enter into force, ratification is required from the so-called Annex 2 States. Of these China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the United States have yet to ratify it.

Addressing the Conference, Mr. Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization said that he wished to thank "One hundred and fifty-five of you [for] individually and collectively reminding the nine remaining countries that the norm is near universal. Reminding all of us that it is not up to those who are within the norm to justify why they are in, but it is up to those who are outside the norm to explain why they choose to do so."


Foreign Minister of Sweden Speaks to Media Also seen are (left) Tibor Tóth, Executive Secretary of the CTBTO and (right) Sergio Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs

"The Treaty's entry into force is long overdue," Mr. Sergio Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, told reporters on behalf of the Secretary-General. He added that the Final Declaration adopted by the conference underlined both the urgency and the importance that ratifying and signatory States attach to the Treaty's entry into force.

The Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty prohibits all nuclear test explosions, whether for military or any other purpose. It covers all tests in all environments (in the atmosphere, on land, underground and in the sea). The preamble of the Treaty states that its objective is "to contribute effectively to the prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons in all its aspects" and "to the process of nuclear disarmament".

 

 

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See also: CTBTO | Secretary-General's Statement | Final Declaration

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Second Cluster Munitions Convention meeting takes place in Beirut

Sergio Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs

All photos courtesy of the Cluster Munition Coalition

The Second Meeting of States Parties of the Cluster Munitions Convention (CCM 2MSP) was held from 13 to 16 September 2011 in Beirut, Lebanon. The Meeting was chaired by Mr. Adnan Mansour, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Emigrants of the Republic of Lebanon, assisted by Ms. Najla Riachi Assaker, Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations Office in Geneva. They were assisted by a group of Friends of the President in charge of key thematic issues relevant to the implementation of the Convention (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, South Africa, and Zambia). Substantive and procedural support was provided by the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs.

Sergio Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs

Participants included 130 States parties and observers, including 41 non-signatories. Discussions were held on key implementation topics of the Convention including clearance of cluster munitions and risk reduction; storage and stockpile reduction; victim assistance; technical cooperation and assistance; transparency measures; and universalization of the treaty.

The Meeting took the following decisions:

(a) adopted by acclamation the Beirut Declaration;

(b) adopted an implementation architecture consisting of (i) annual informal intersessional meetings; (ii) six thematic Working groups; (iii) coordinators on Transparency reporting; and National implementation measures; and a Coordinating committee;

(c) decided to establish no later than the Third Meeting of States Parties (3MSP) an independent Implementation Support Unit (ISU);

(d) agreed to encourage States parties to implement a set of recommendations on the application of all available methods for efficient clearance of cluster munition remnants;

Sergio Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs

(e) agreed to encourage States parties to make use of a Model Legislation and a Checklist of measures needed in place by States to implement the Cluster Munition Convention;

(f) agreed on the dates of the CCM-related activities in 2012;

(g) nominated Ambassador Steffen Kongstad of Norway as the President-designate of the 3MSP, as well as the coordinators of the intersessional activities for 2012-2013;

(h) warmly welcomed the Beirut Progress Report http://www.clusterconvention.org/files/2011/05/Beirut-Progress-Report-ODS-upload4.pdf on the implementation of the 66 concrete steps and goals contained in the 2010 Vientiane Action Plan."

 

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See also: Secretary-General's message to meeting | Cluster Munitions Convention

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Secretary-General's Advisory Board holds 56th session

The Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters held its 56th session from 29 June to 1 July in Geneva. The Board continued its deliberations on the issues raised at the High-Level Meeting on Revitalizing the Work of the Conference on Disarmament and Taking Forward Multilateral Disarmament Negotiations (New York, 24 September 2010), including the possible establishment of a high-level panel of eminent persons with a special focus on the functioning of the Conference on Disarmament (CD), which it had begun in February.

Sergio Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs

55th session, New York, February 2011

The Board provided the following recommendations: i) the Secretary-General should persist in encouraging the CD to seek all efforts in achieving a breakthrough in the continuing impasse. He may also wish to consider encouraging progress on a programme of work for the CD that facilitates work on the four core issues based on the consensus reached in document CD/1864; ii) should a high-level panel of eminent persons be established, the Secretary-General should ask the panel, as an urgent task, to make recommendations on the way to revitalize the United Nations disarmament machinery as a whole, especially the CD. He might also consider the need to establish an institutional link between the Advisory Board and the high-level panel by inviting one or more current or former Board members to be part of the proposed panel. Prior consideration should be given to the financial implications of the establishment of such a panel; and iii) the Secretary-General should continue to raise public awareness and encourage civil society groups and non-governmental organizations to offer their input on ways to overcome the prolonged stalemate at the CD and move towards the ultimate goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.

As the Board of Trustees for UNIDIR, the Board also approved, for submission to the General Assembly, the Institute's report on its activities from August 2010 to July 2011, as well as its proposed programme of work and budget for 2012 and 2013.

 

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See also:Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters | Report

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UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific

The 23rd United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues: "Urgent and United Action Toward a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World" Matsumoto, Japan, 27-29 July 2011

"Urgent and United Action Toward a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World" was the overall theme of the Twenty-third United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues which took place from 27 to 29 July in Matsumoto City, Japan. The Conference was organized by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs through its Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD), in cooperation with the Government of Japan and the City of Matsumoto.

Group photo at the opening of the exhibition "Putting an End to Nuclear Explosions"

Officially opened by Ms. Hannelore Hoppe, Director and Deputy to the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations, and Dr. Akira Sugenoya, Mayor of Matsumoto City, the Conference hosted 92 high-level participants from 24 countries and included experts from governments, think tanks, universities and NGOs. Mr. Yukiya Amano, Director General (DG) of the International Atomic Energy Agency, delivered the keynote address.

Over the two and a half days, participants discussed critical and relevant issues related to disarmament and security. Participants called for the implementation of the Action Plan in the Final Declaration of the 2010 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Against the backdrop of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant which occurred in March 2011, all discussions, and particularly the ones centered on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, assumed a new and pressing sense of urgency.

Sergio Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs

The role of civil society in sustaining the momentum toward peace and disarmament was also strongly emphasized. Particularly noteworthy in this context was the enthusiasm and participation of Matsumoto City's citizens including presentations by high school students and interaction with Director General Amano. In addition to strong financial and logistical support, countless activities ranging from volunteer support to the Conference, artistic performances (songs, paintings and poems for peace and paper cranes).

The seminar was important in building on and reinforcing the recent momentum towards global nuclear disarmament, and was a contribution to the global debate on the future of nuclear energy and the peaceful uses nuclear technology.

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See also: United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific| Conference website

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The 2011 Disarmament Fellowship Programme will undertake its final segment at United Nations Headquarters in New York


Fellows visit Hiroshima, Japan

The New York segment of the 2011 Fellowship Programme, to take place from 30 September to 21 October 2011, is meant primarily to expose participating Fellows to the work of the General Assembly's First Committee (Disarmament and International Security). The participants will attend meetings of the First Committee and will take part in interactive discussion sessions with First Committee delegates and United Nations officials, covering issues related to disarmament, peace and security.

Diplomats from the following 25 Member States are participating this year: Belarus, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Germany, Honduras, Hungary, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Russian Federation, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Togo, United Republic of Tanzania, United States and Uzbekistan.

The New York segment follows a full schedule which began on 22 August in Geneva, aimed particularly at exposing the Fellows to issues on the agenda of the Conference on Disarmament. The Geneva segment is complemented by a traditional study visit to Bern, Switzerland, organized by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. This 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 the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague. Prior to coming to New York, the Fellows visited Berlin, Beijing and Tokyo, at the invitation of the respective Governments.

The United Nations Disarmament Fellowship Programme was launched by the General Assembly in 1978 with the aim of promoting expertise in disarmament in more Member States, particularly targeting developing countries. Implemented by the Office for Disarmament Affairs, the Programme has trained, in its 33-year history, over 833 public officials from 163 Member States, a large number of whom are now in positions of responsibility in the field of disarmament within their own governments as well as think tanks.

The Programme has enabled former Fellows to participate more effectively in regional and global efforts in the field of disarmament and has created an informal network of disarmament specialists spanning the various regions of the world.

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See also: Fellows Programme

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Tokyo University Students, as Part of their Curriculum Interview Atomic Bomb Survivors and Provide their Testimonies to the United Nations

During his visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 2010, the United Nations Secretary General launched an initiative to forge partnerships with governments and organizations to preserve and disseminate the testimonies of the Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) to ensure that their stories are available for generations to come. The testimonies by the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki form an historical legacy that is a clarion call for promoting peace and for securing a world free of nuclear weapons.

Antarctic slideshow picture 1
To ensure that efforts by the United Nations are both coordinated and build upon work already undertaken, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) has worked closely with the Department of Public Information (DPI) and the Permanent Mission of Japan to conceptualize a cooperative approach for increasing awareness of and accessibility to the Hibakusha's testimonies as a contribution to disarmament and non-proliferation education activities.


As part of wider hibakusha testimonies project, UNODA initiated a partnership with Tokyo University whereby students would meet with hibakusha, record their testimonies in Japanese, and translate them into English.


Antarctic photo

The students from Tokyo University under the direction of Professor Terue Okada, interviewed six hibakusha from Hiroshima and Nagasaki currently living in Tokyo, translated their testimonies into English and presented them to Mr. Sergio Duarte, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs on 25 August 2011.

Tokyo University will continue to include this curriculum and related activities as part of their peace and disarmament course.

 

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See also: Disarmament Education website

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New Print and Online UNODA Publications

Released on 26 September 2011 in print and electronic formats:

Yearbook Part I: 2010

United Nations Disarmament Yearbook, Volume 35 (Part II): 2010

United Nations Disarmament Yearbook, Volume 35 (Part II): 2010

• Summarizes developments and trends in 2010 on key issues of multilateral consideration at the international and regional levels.

• Reviews the activity of the General Assembly, the Conference on Disarmament and the Disarmament Commission.

• Contains a timeline that highlights events in multilateral disarmament in 2010.

Order copies | Download

Sales No. E.11.IX.2 | ISBN 978-92-1-142279-5

 

 

 

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