21 August 2017

United Nations Disarmament Fellowship Programme Opens 2017 Session in Geneva

GENEVA, 21 August — The 2017 United Nations Programme of Fellowships on Disarmament begins today at the United Nations Office at Geneva with the participation of young diplomats and other Government officials from 25 United Nations Member States.

Officials from the following States will be taking part in the 2017 Disarmament Fellowship Programme:  Angola, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Colombia, France, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, State of Palestine, Timor-Leste and Uganda.

The 2017 Disarmament Fellowship Programme will last for 10 weeks and will feature exchanges with representatives of Member States, senior officials of international organizations and members of the academic community.  Discussions will focus on a wide range of disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation issues.  The Fellows will be introduced to various aspects of multilateral negotiations and the global disarmament machinery, including the work of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and the General Assembly’s First Committee (Disarmament and International Security), as well as the operation of different treaty regimes, such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction; the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects; the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction; the Convention on Cluster Munitions; or the Arms Trade Treaty.

Fellows will also explore the role and functioning of several international organizations and structures, including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons 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 in Vienna and others.  Additionally, the Fellowship Programme will include study visits to Berne, Switzerland, organized by that State’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, as well as country-specific study visits hosted by the Governments of China, Germany, Japan (including Hiroshima and Nagasaki), Kazakhstan and the Republic of Korea.

The Programme will conclude at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 27 October, when the Fellows will be awarded certificates of participation by Izumi Nakamitsu, United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.

The United Nations Programme of Fellowships on Disarmament was launched by the General Assembly at its first special session devoted to disarmament in 1978 with the aim of promoting disarmament expertise, particularly in the world’s developing countries.  Implemented by the Office for Disarmament Affairs 38 years ago, the Programme has trained over 950 public officials from 165 States, a large number of whom are now in positions of responsibility in the field of disarmament within their own Governments or international organizations.

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