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Sergio Duarte, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs

Conferences - Wednesday, April 01, 2009

UN’s Role in Reducing Weapons of Mass Destruction Discussed at 3-Day Seminar

Can the United Nations build momentum for worldwide nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation? Over sixty experts from  the UN and its members states, along with experts form various think tanks convened to discuss questions surrounding the UN’s role in reducing nuclear, chemical and biological arms at the International Peace Institute’s annual New York Seminar. Over sixty experts attended IPI’s 2009 New York Seminar.

Over sixty experts attended IPI’s 2009 New York Seminar.

Robust discussion occurred around the current and future role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the role of the UN on disarmament issues, the relationship between the Security Council and the IAEA, as well as regional cooperation and nuclear-weapon-free zones.

The future of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was also the subject of considerable discussion. Former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Madame Louise Fréchette gave the opening remarks, where she noted, “The key to long-term sustainability of the non-proliferation regime is to transform it into a universal regime with equal rights and obligations for all.”

The keynote speech was delivered by Ambassador Maged Abdelaziz, Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations.The seminar was opened by IPI’s Senior Vice President and Deputy Director of Studies, Edward C. Luck. It was held April 1-3, 2009, at the Arrowwood Conference Center.

IPI introduced its annual New York Seminar in 1996, on the request of many senior representatives of international institutions, including high-level UN officials and Permanent Representatives to the United Nations. The annual seminar brings together highly experience, senior-level speakers and discussants, and members of the New York diplomatic community.

The 2009 New York Seminar series was made possible by the generous support of the governments of Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

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This year’s New York Seminar series asked the question: Can the United Nations build momentum for worldwide nuclear disarmament?

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