8 February 2006

Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters to Discuss Measures to Prevent Proliferation of Weapon Systems to Non-State Actors

NEW YORK, 7 February (DDA) -- The Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters will meet for a three-day closed session in New York from 8 to 10 February.  The last session of the Board was held in Geneva from 29 June to 1 July 2005.  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.

At this session, the Board will review the situation in the field of disarmament in the light of the absence of any reference to disarmament and non-proliferation in the Outcome Document adopted at the 2005 World Summit.  It will also discuss measures to prevent the proliferation of weapon systems to non-State actors.  The Board is expected to make concrete recommendations to the Secretary-General on those issues. The Secretary-General will report on the work of the Advisory Board to the General Assembly in September.

The session will be chaired by U. Joy Ogwu, the Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs in Lagos.  Currently, the Board has 19 members, appointed by the Secretary-General and serving in their personal capacities (see list below).  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 also serves 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 2005 and approve the work programme for 2006.

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 Board 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 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/60/285, dated 22 August 2005.  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/60/135.

Over the years, 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; export controls; compliance, verification and enforcement of multilateral disarmament treaties; revolution in military affairs; disarmament and human security; disarmament and development; prevention of the 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.

In 2004, the Advisory Board contributed to the work of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change in the form of a document containing in-depth analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of current disarmament and non-proliferation regimes and practical recommendations on how to meet those challenges (published as Department for Disarmament Affairs' Occasional Paper No.8 of October 2004, available online at http://disarmament.un.org/ddapublications/index.html ).


Dr. Christiane Isabelle Agboton Johnson, President, Movement against Small Arms in West Africa, Dakar, Senegal; Anatoly I. Antonov, Director, Department for Security Affairs and Disarmament, Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation; Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations Office at Geneva; Philippe Carré, Director of Strategic Affairs, Security and Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France; Perla Carvalho Soto, Ambassador of Mexico to Uruguay; Professor Michael Clarke, Director, International Policy Institute, School of Social Science and Public Policy, King's College London; Gelson Fonseca, Jr., Ambassador of Brazil to Chile; Hasmy Agam, Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia; Professor Carolina Hernandez, President, Institute for Strategic and Development Studies, Inc., Manila, Philippines; Kuniko Inoguchi, Minister of State for Gender Equality and Social Affairs in Japan; Jeremy Issacharoff, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Israel in the United States; Mahmoud Karem, Ambassador of Egypt to Belgium and Luxembourg and Permanent Representative to the European Union; Ho-Jin Lee, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Hungary; Jayant Prasad, Permanent Representative of India to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, Switzerland; Stephen G. Rademaker, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, United States Department of State; Professor Adam Daniel Rotfeld, Chairman of the International Advisory Committee, Polish Institute of International Affairs; Kongit Sinegiorgis, Director-General for African Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia; Zhang Yan, Director-General, Department of Arms Control, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China; and Dr. Patricia Lewis, Director, UNIDIR, United Nations Office at Geneva.


For further information, please contact Xiaoyu Wang, Secretary of the Advisory Board,
Tel.:  (212)963-9440, email:  wangxy@un.org .