15 January 1999


15 January 1999

Press Release


19990115 Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed 11 new members to his Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, the United Nations "think-tank" on disarmament issues. The Board is composed of eminent persons appointed by the Secretary-General in their individual capacities, on the basis of their expertise in the field of disarmament and international security and taking into account equitable geographical representation. Nine members continued from the previous Board, bringing the total membership to 20, five of whom are women. For the first time in its 20-year history, a woman, Thérèse Delpech, Director for Strategic Affairs of the Atomic Energy Commission in Paris, will preside over the Board at its two sessions in 1999.

Serving from Africa will be Nabil Fahmy, Egypt's Ambassador to Japan; Peter Goosen, South Africa's Deputy Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva; Keita Rokiatou N'Diaye of Mali, Vice-President of the Conseil d'Administration de l'Association pour le développement de la riziculture en Afrique de l'Ouest and founding member and Director of the International Institute for Peace and Security; and Wangari Maathai, Coordinator of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya.

On the Board from Asia will be Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations Office at Geneva; Hanan Bar-On of Israel, Ambassador and Senior Adviser to the President, Weizmann Institute of Science; Arundhati Ghose, Ambassador of India and member of the Union Public Service Commission of New Delhi (former Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament during negotiations on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty); Yoshitomo Tanaka, Ambassador of Japan and President of Radiopress, Inc. (former Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament); Sha Zukang, Director- General of the Department of Arms Control and Disarmament of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Nugroho Wisnumurti, Indonesia's Director-General for Political Affairs in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The Eastern European representatives are André Erdòs, Hungary's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Guennadi Yevstafiev, Independent Consultant to the National Security Council of the Russian

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Federation. From Latin America and the Caribbean are Raimundo González, Chile's Ambassador and Director for Special Political Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Miguel Marin Bosch, Mexico's Consul-General to Barcelona (former Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament).

Western European and Other States members are Thérèse Delpech of France, Director for Strategic Affairs of the Atomic Energy Commission in Paris; Rolf Ekéus, Sweden's Ambassador to the United States (former Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament and Executive Chairman of the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM)); Sverre Lodgaard of Norway, Director of the Norwegian Institute for International Relations; Harald Müller of Germany, Director of the Peace Research Institute in Frankfurt; William Potter of the United States, Professor and Director of the Center for Non-Proliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in the United States; and Jane Sharp of the United Kingdom, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Defence Studies in London.

The reconstituted Advisory Board, which meets in closed session and transmits a report on its deliberations directly to the Secretary-General, will hold it first session this year from 20 to 22 January at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, Jayantha Dhanapala, will deliver a message from the Secretary-General. The Board will examine possible scenarios for disarmament in Iraq; the applicability to other regions of the lessons learned by Europe in conventional arms control; the contributions that disarmament can make to security in Africa; prospects for the treaty banning the production of fissile material for weapons purposes; and the status of tactical (substrategic) nuclear weapons.

The Board was established by the Final Document of the first special session of the General Assembly in 1978. Its primary task is to provide the Secretary-General, upon his request, with advice on matters within the area of disarmament and arms limitation. It also serves as the Board of Trustees for the Geneva-based United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). The Institute's Director, Patricia Lewis, is an ex officio member. Finally, it also advises on the implementation of the United Nations Disarmament Information Programme and, in that regard, meets with representatives of the Special NGO Committee on Disarmament (Geneva).

The Secretary-General reports annually to the General Assembly on the activities of the Board. His report to the last General Assembly can be found in document A/53/222.

For further information contact Michael Cassandra, Secretary of the Board, New York, tel. (212) 963-7714; Geneva, tel. (41-22) 917-4015 or 4263.

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For information media. Not an official record.