29 May 2003


NEW YORK, 28 May (UN Headquarters) -- The Secretary-General announced today the appointment of Nobuyasu Abe of Japan as the new Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, succeeding Jayantha Dhanapala, effective 1 July 2003. Mr. Abe has been serving as Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since November 2001.

Mr. Abe, who joined the Japanese Foreign Service in 1967, is an accomplished diplomat with a wide experience in the field of arms control and disarmament. In addition to his bilateral assignments dealing with political and economic issues, Mr. Abe served in the Japanese missions to the International Organizations in Geneva (1977-79), to the United Nations in New York (1987-90 and 1996-97) and to the International Organizations in Vienna (1999-2001), thus acquiring extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy.

Mr. Abe was an international fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University in Boston (1986-87), where he later served as Consul-General of Japan (1994-96).

Earlier in his career, he served in Tokyo as Private Secretary to Foreign Minister Kiichi Miyazawa (1974-76); Director of Policy Planning (1984-86); and sous-Sherpa for the G7 Summits (1992-94). His last assignment in Tokyo was as Director-General for Arms Control and Science Affairs (1997-99). During that time, he helped organize the Tokyo Forum for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament and participated in many international activities for disarmament and nonproliferation. He was instrumental in bringing about the Japanese ratification of the Ottawa Convention to Ban Anti-personnel Landmines.

During his assignment in Vienna, he led the efforts to promote the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and to conclude the negotiation on the Firearms Protocol of the Anti-Organized Crime Convention.

Mr. Abe was born in Akita, Japan, on September 9, 1945. He studied at the University of Tokyo, Japan, and later at Amherst College, Massachusetts, United States, majoring in political science.

Mr. Abe is married to Akiko (Sugawara) and has two sons.

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