5 October 2012 — The annual United Nations Disarmament Fellowship Programme will commence its third and final segment today at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Young diplomats from the following 25 Member States are participating in the 2012 Programme: Algeria, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Ethiopia, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Liberia, Lithuania, Nepal, Niger, Peru, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and Zimbabwe.
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 on a wide range of disarmament and non-proliferation issues by delegations 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 Center 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 27 August and was aimed particularly at exposing the Fellows to issues on the agenda of the Conference on Disarmament. It also included a study visit to Bern, organized by Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The initial segment was followed by study visits to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in Vienna, and to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague. Subsequently, the Fellows participated in study visits to Germany, China and Japan, at the invitation of the respective Governments.
Launched by the General Assembly in 1978, the aim of the Fellowships Programme was to promote national disarmament expertise in Member States, particularly developing countries. Implemented by the Office for Disarmament Affairs, it has in the 34 years of its existence trained 858 public officials from 163 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 25 October, the 2012 Fellows will be awarded certificates of participation by Angela Kane, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.