Minister Ahern announces funding for International Disarmament Projects
Dermot Ahern T.D., Minister for Foreign Affairs, today announced funding totalling €69,000 to support the work of three organisations in international disarmament. The three initiatives are a project to quantify data on the humanitarian effects of cluster munitions use in Sudan and Nagorno Karabakh, funding for a seminar on the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) and support for IANSA, an umbrella network of NGOs campaigning for the reduction of small arms.
A breakdown of the funding is as follows:
• €30,000 to Landmine Action UK. The funding will support a study to quantify data on the humanitarian effects of cluster munitions use in Sudan and Nagorno Karabakh.
• €29,000 to the Geneva Forum to organise a seminar bringing together government representatives, NGOs and international organizations involved in the biological weapons field. The Seminar provides participants with the opportunity to discuss in detail key issues likely to be addressed at the BTWC Review Conference to be held later this year.
• €10,000 to International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA). The funding will assist IANSA in having representation in New York in advance of the 2006 Review Conference of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.
Speaking on funding the study on the effects of cluster munitions, the Minister said that he hoped Landmine Action's study would make an important contribution towards the international community's further understanding of the suffering caused by these weapons when they are used in areas where innocent civilians are located.
On the funding for the Geneva Forum Seminar, he added:
“The Geneva Forum has consistently carried out valuable work in promoting full implementation and strengthening of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. This Seminar comes at an important time in advance of the Convention's Sixth Review Conference in November. I am confident that the Seminar's outcome will help play an influential role in shaping discussions at the Review Conference.”
Approving the IANSA funding, the Minister said:
“IANSA has made an important contribution in highlighting the urgency of continued attention and action on the small arms process. This has been recognised by the UN Department of Disarmament who have appointed IANSA as the official coordinator of NGO involvement in the UN small arms process. This funding will assist IANSA in effectively carrying out this important role in New York over the coming months.”
29th March 2006