Press Releases

    4 February 2004

    Disarmament Advisory Board to Address Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction at Forthcoming New York Session, 4 - 6 February

    NEW YORK, 3 February (Department for Disarmament Affairs) -- The Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters will meet for a three-day closed session in New York from 4 to 6 February 2004. The last session of the Board was held in Geneva from 16 to 18 July 2003.  The Board meets twice a year.

    The Board is tasked with advising the Secretary-General on matters within the area of arms limitation and disarmament.

    Since its establishment in 1978, the Advisory Board has made practical recommendations to the Secretary-General on a number of important issues in the field of disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation.  Most recently, it examined terrorism and weapons of mass destruction; compliance, verification and enforcement of multilateral disarmament treaties; revolution in military affairs; disarmament and human security; disarmament and development; prevention of weaponization of outer space; and curbing the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, among others.  It also initiated the United Nations Study on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education, adopted by the General Assembly in 2002.

    At its forty-second session, the Board will address disarmament and reconciliation in conflict prevention, and terrorism and weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. It will also make recommendations to the Secretary-General for input into the work of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change with specific reference to disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation.

    The session will be chaired by Dr. Harald Mueller, Director of the Frankfurt Peace Research Institute, Germany. Currently, the Board has 22 members, appointed by the Secretary-General and serving in their personal capacities. The Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), Dr. Patricia Lewis, will participate in the meeting as an ex-officio member.

    The Board will also sit as the Board of Trustees of UNIDIR. Located in Geneva, UNIDIR is an autonomous institution within the framework of the United Nations undertaking independent research on disarmament and international security issues. In that capacity, the Board will review the activities of the Institute from July to December 2003 and approve the work programme for 2004.

    The Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters was established in 1978 pursuant to paragraph 124 of the Final Document of the tenth special session of the General Assembly, and received its current mandate pursuant to General Assembly decision 54/418 of 1 December 1999. The Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters has the following functions:  to advise the Secretary-General on matters within the area of arms limitation and disarmament, including on studies and research under the auspices of the United Nations or institutions within the United Nations system; to serve as the Board of Trustees of UNIDIR; and to advise the Secretary-General on the implementation of the United Nations Disarmament Information Programme.

    Members of the Board are appointed by the Secretary-General on the basis of their expertise in the field of disarmament and/or the wider field of international security, taking into account the principle of equitable geographical representation. The Director of UNIDIR participates as ex officio member of the Board.

    The Chairman of the Board submits a private report to the Secretary-General on the work of each session. The Secretary-General, as requested by the Assembly in 1983 (resolution 38/183 O), submits a report on the work of the Board to the General Assembly. The latest report is contained in document A/58/316, dated 25 August 2003. The Secretary-General also submits a note to the Assembly transmitting the report of the Director of UNIDIR and the report of the Board of Trustees of the Institute. The note from the last session is contained in document A/58/259.


    For further information, please contact:
    Xiaoyu Wang, Secretary of the Advisory Board,
    tel. (212)963-9440, e-mail: