UN opens disarmament office

Kathmandu, August 18:

The United Nations opened its new office — Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (RCPD) — amid a function here today.

Chef de Cabinet of the UN Secretary-General Vijay Nambiar, senior government officials, members of diplomatic corps, representatives of regional organisations and civil society attended the function.

RCPD, under the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), will serve 43 countries in the Asia-Pacific region and will rely on voluntary contributions from donors to run its operations and activities.

Addressing the function, Nambiar said, “I think establishing the UNODA here is crucial at this historical time. This will lead Nepal’s peace to a new level,” said Nambiar. “The RCPD is relocated in Nepal after the UN and the government of Nepal signed an agreement on July 20 last year.”

Nepal’s Permanent Resident Representative to UN Madhu Raman Acharya said, “Atmosphere in the country was conducive for the establishment of the regional office. However, the office is not directly related to the management of arms here.”

This will provide a better opportunity to the country in terms of multi-lateral democracy, he said. Director of UNODA Agnes Marcaillou said the office will offer a wide range of opportunities and expertise, as it serves as a hub of expertise and knowledge transfer from one region to another.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his congratulatory message, praised the regional centre for its role in promoting openness, transparency and confidence-building, and promoting dialogue on regional security issues such as nuclear proliferation, illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, the hazards of landmines and the rise of organised crime and terrorism in the region.