The United Nations Programme of Fellowships on Disarmament

Launched by the General Assembly in 1978 at its first special session devoted to disarmament, the Programme of Fellowships on Disarmament aims to train and build the capacity of officials from Member States to enable them to participate more effectively in international disarmament deliberating and negotiating fora.

The Fellowship Programme Itinerary

Implemented by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), the Fellowship Programme is composed of three segments.

Secretary General Antonio Guterres
Photo Opportunity with the 2019 United Nations
Disarmament Fellowship Programme.
  • In August of each year, the Fellows arrive for the first segment which begins at the United Nations Office at Geneva. They are introduced to various aspects of multilateral negotiations on disarmament, in particular the work of the Conference on Disarmament. This is followed with a study visit to Berne at the invitation of the Government of Switzerland.
  • Throughout the month of September, the Fellows engage in the second segment of the programme comprised of study visits to several international organizations related to disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation. These include the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna as well as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague. During this segment, and at the invitation of the Governments of China, Germany and Japan, the Fellows also participate in country-specific study visits.
  • The third segment takes place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York during the month of October where the Fellows follow the work of the First Committee of the General Assembly and also become familiar with the substantive and technical activities undertaken by UNODA in support of disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control.

The Selection Process

Since its inception in 1979, the Programme has trained nearly 860 government officials from over 160 Member States, a large number of whom are now holding positions of responsibility in the field of disarmament within their own Governments and in disarmament-related international organizations.

Participants in the Fellowship Programme are selected by UNODA on the basis of nominations from Member States. The selection process takes into account the greater needs of developing countries by training their young diplomats in the field of disarmament and security, and the need for geographical and gender balance. Candidates for nomination should be between 26 and 35 years of age.

2013 UN Disarmament Fellows visiting the International Data Centre of the CTBTO
2013 UN Disarmament Fellows at the former Soviet nuclear weapons test site at Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan
2013 UN Disarmament Fellows at the Hyper Centre of Atomic bombing in Hiroshima City, Japan
2013 UN Disarmament Fellows at Dialogue with Chinese arms control officals from Foreign Ministry in Beijing
2013 UN Disarmament Fellows meeting Mr. Uzumcu, Director-General of OPCW
2013 UN Disarmament Fellows at the Hyper Centre of Atomic bombing in Hiroshima City, Japan

Further Information

2020 Fellowship Application Forms

Information on Previous Years



“I stongly support the United Nations Programme of Fellowships on Disarmament and highly recommend it for anyone looking for a jumpstart in a disarmament related career. I can personally testify to the value of the Programme and its importance in educating junior diplomats and future decision-makers on the issues and institutions involved in non-proliferation, disarmament and international security. This experience greatly contributed to my development by preparing me for the many challenges in multilateral disarmament diplomacy that I faced throughout my professional career. The lessons I learned and the relations I established through the programme were of great benefit in my current capacity as the Executive Secretary of the CTBTO. The United Nations Programme of Fellowships on Disarmament is a valuable investment in the next generation, and especially important in light of the challenges ahead.”

Mr. Tibor Toth
Former Executive Secretary, CTBTO Preparatory Commission
Fellowship Class of 1980

“I credit the UN Disarmament Fellowship Programme with igniting a life-long interest in disarmament issues in me. The content is highly stimulating; equally enriching is the opportunity to consider issues from the diverse perspectives of the participating fellows. The programme is also a great networking platform; I am still in touch with several fellows from my batch who continue to work on disarmament issues for their countries.”

Mr. Amandeep Singh Gill
Ambassador, Permanent Representative of India to the Conference on Disrmament, Geneva
Fellowship Class of 1999