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    22 April 2015

    UN and partners to boost women's participation in disarmament and contribution to peace

    VIENNA, 20 April (UN Information Service) - As part of a new peace and disarmament education initiative of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), the United Nations mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) hosted on 16-17 April in San José, Costa Rica the first meeting of a new cooperation initiative of more than 10 partners to provide scholarships and training for about 140 women from countries in the global South on peace and disarmament related topics.

    The contribution of women to peace and disarmament is critical, but they are underrepresented among professionals and decision makers in the fields of disarmament, non-proliferation and peace. Educating women in these fields could therefore make a difference by involving them more in conflict resolution and the promotion of a culture of peace.

    This new initiative is aimed at broadening the participation of women in various peace and disarmament related fields to increase the number of women experts participating in the planning, decision making and implementation of disarmament and non-proliferation activities.

    It was agreed at the San José meeting that the UNODA Vienna Office will develop and host an online platform to provide training for diplomats, military attachés and other practitioners, while the curriculum on disarmament and non-proliferation will be developed in cooperation with the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP). UPEACE will subsequently organize online and in-person courses worldwide with the support of various regional organizations.

    The meeting also endorsed the plans to launch a new "Women Higher Education for Peace Vienna Forum" to, inter alia, discuss specific disarmament and non-proliferation issues, promote empowerment of women in these fields and to facilitate the adoption of training courses into national curricula.

    Partners of the new cooperation initiative, a number of whom were present at the meeting in San José, include the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (EASA), the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC), the Inter-Press Service (IPS) News Agency, the League of Arab States (LAS), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBTO), the UN Information Service (UNIS) Vienna, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the UN mandated University for Peace (UPEACE), the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP) and the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA).Funding for the scholarships and all other activities of the three-year initiative was provided by the Government of Germany.

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    For further information please contact:

    Pericles Gasparini
    Chief, UNODA Vienna Office
    Email: pericles.gasparini[at]