United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs Fellowship Programme to Enhance Young Diplomats’ Expertise Begins Final Segment at Headquarters

12 October 2015

United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs Fellowship Programme to Enhance Young Diplomats’ Expertise Begins Final Segment at Headquarters

NEW YORK, 12 October (Office for Disarmament Affairs) — The annual United Nations Disarmament Fellowship Programme will commence its final segment today at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Young diplomats and other public officials from the following Member States are participating in the 2015 Programme:  Argentina, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Malawi, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Russian Federation, Serbia, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, United States, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.

The New York segment aims to expose the participating Fellows to the work of the General Assembly’s First Committee (Disarmament and International Security).  Besides attending Committee meetings, they will follow presentations and briefings on a wide range of disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation issues by senior diplomats and United Nations officials, including the Acting High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, as well as by representatives of the civil society and the academia.  They will participate in a panel on Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation and attend other First Committee’s associated events.

In addition, the Fellows will be engaged in practical exercises, including a simulation exercise on the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, organized by the Office for Disarmament Affairs and 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 24 August and was aimed particularly at exposing the Fellows to issues on the work of the Conference on Disarmament and different treaty regimes, such as the Biological Weapons Convention, the Mine Ban Convention, the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

The Fellows also participated in a one-day study visit to Bern, organized by Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.  The Geneva segment was followed by study visits to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), the Vassenaar Arrangement, the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Zangger Committee, as well as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna.

Briefings on disarmament and other related issues were also organized by representatives of the Vienna Centre for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.  Subsequently, the Fellows participated in study visits to Germany, China, Kazakhstan and Japan, and will also visit Washington, D.C., at the invitation of the respective Governments.

Launched by the General Assembly in 1978, the aim of the United Nations Fellowships Programme is to promote national disarmament expertise in Member States, particularly developing countries.  Implemented by the Office for Disarmament Affairs, it has, in the 37 years of its existence, trained over 900 public officials from 164 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 Programme at Headquarters on 30 October, the 2015 Fellows will be awarded certificates of participation by Under-Secretary-General Kim Won-soo, Acting High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.

For further information, please contact Peter Kolarov, Coordinator of the Fellowship Programme, Office for Disarmament Affairs, at tel.:  +41 76 6910099; or Jenny Fuchs, Office for Disarmament Affairs, Room S-3170, at tel.:  +1 212 963 2386.

For information media. Not an official record.