UNODA Update

UNODA and World Future Council to present Future Policy Award at UN Headquarters in October

The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, in conjunction with the World Future Council, is pleased to announce that the 2013 Future Policy Award will be presented at New York Headquarters just before the start of United Nations Disarmament Week (24-30 October).

As the first and only award that celebrates policies rather than people, the prestigious Future Policy Award showcases policy solutions to an international audience.  The 2013 award will celebrate the world's best disarmament policies as the Office for Disarmament Affairs and the World Future Council collaborate to encourage new thinking on disarmament and advance common solutions to the global problem.  The World Future Council calls for nominations (details below) for exemplary policies that can speed up policy action in the field.

The numbers are striking:  global military spending is estimated to have exceeded $1.7 trillion in 2011, whereas Oxfam estimates that achieving the hunger-related Millennium Development Goals would cost $75 billion per year up to 2015 — i.e., less than 5 per cent of annual military expenditures.

As United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted in an August 2012 op-ed, "No development, no peace.  No disarmament, no security.  Yet when both advance, the world advances, with increased security and prosperity for all."  The comment describes in a nutshell an issue concerning all nations and all people:  the continued existence of weapons of mass destruction poses an existential threat to life on earth as we know it.  At the same time, the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons increases tensions, undermines peace, stimulates armed violence and prevents the achievement of sustainable development and human security.

United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane has stated:  "I am pleased to support this timely initiative.  Disarmament has evolved from a policy aimed at reining in the excesses of the cold war, to a global imperative necessary for achieving development while ensuring adherence to humanitarian principles and human security.  The 2013 Future Policy Award is an excellent opportunity to both educate the public and to develop new ideas for the future."

Alexandra Wandel, Director of the Germany-based World Future Council Foundation said:  "With our Future Policy Award we want to raise global awareness for policy solutions that work.  The aim of the World Future Council is to identify exemplary policies and to speed up policy action in the interests of present and future generations by promoting and spreading them.  The 2013 Future Policy Award will celebrate policies that have distinctly advanced sustainable disarmament."

Nominations are to be received by 31 March 2013, and can be submitted at tinyurl.com/bnf5n7j.  A research team will screen all nominated policies according to the seven principles for sustainable development law that were presented at the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development.  As a result, an evaluation report will be presented to an international jury comprising experts from all five continents.

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