On 7 February 2017, the UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD) resumed its operations from Kathmandu, Nepal.
After strong earthquakes damaged the UNRCPD office premises in Nepal, and in order to ensure the continuity of its planned programmes and services to the countries in Asia and the Pacific, the Regional Centre was temporarily relocated to Bangkok in May 2015.
Since the temporary relocation, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) has been working closely with the Government of Nepal to make the necessary arrangements for the Regional Centre to resume its operations from Kathmandu at the earliest possible date. UNODA is very grateful to the Government of Nepal for its cooperation and support, including financial commitments to make the relocation possible. It also greatly appreciates the support by Member States from the region.
On 21 November 2016, the Foreign Minister of Nepal, Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat, and the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Mr. KIM Won-soo, jointly inaugurated the new UNRCPD office premises in a ceremony in Kathmandu.
Established by the General Assembly in 1987, UNRCPD assists 43 countries under its mandate in their efforts to promote peace, security and disarmament goals. During the past three decades, the Regional Centre has promoted dialogue and confidence-building in the region by organizing major annual conferences on disarmament and non-proliferation issues aimed at seeking possible solutions to key disarmament, arms control, and security challenges. The Regional Centre also provides technical assistance and capacity-building programmes for the implementation of multilateral arms control and non-proliferation instruments to Member States upon their request, including on the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, the Arms Trade Treaty, and Security Council resolution 1540 (2004). Moreover, it has carried out peace and disarmament education programmes to raise the awareness of students and the general public of the region for global and regional disarmament efforts.
The Regional Centre carries out all its substantive programmes with the support of voluntary financial and in-kind contributions from Member States and other donors. UNODA hereby expresses its deep appreciation to these donors for their generous support.
More information on UNRCPD can be found on its website: www.unrcpd.org
Text by Katja Flueckiger