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14 August 2017

The 2017 United Nations Programme of Fellowships on Disarmament starts today at the United Nations Office at Geneva with the participation of young diplomats and other government officials from 25 States of the United Nations.

Officials from the following States will be participating in the 2017 Disarmament Fellowship Programme: Angola, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Colombia, France, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Iran (Islamic Republic of), 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 a period of ten weeks and will include exchanges with representatives of Member States, senior officials of international organizations and members of the academic community and civil society 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 disarmament machinery, including the work of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the operation of different treaty regimes, such as the Non-Proliferation TreatyTreaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons., the Biological Weapons Convention Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction., the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons 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 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention 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, and the role and functioning of several international organizations and structures, such as the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna and others. Furthermore, the Fellowship Programme will include study visits to Berne (Switzerland) organized by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland as well as country specific study visits hosted by the governments of China, Germany, Japan, Kazakhstan and the Republic of Korea.

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

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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 expertise in disarmament in more States, particularly in the developing countries. Implemented by the Office for Disarmament Affairs, the Programme has trained, in the thirty-eight years of its existence, over nine hundred and fifty 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 in international organizations.

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