Nuclear disarmament has long been the heart-felt cry of the religious community. The Department of Religion brings both religious and non-religious voices to the 2:00 pm podium to examine who, if any, has the right "to have and to hold" nuclear weapons. The issue of who holds the reins of power on this issue is of deep concern to the world community -- more critical at this time than ever.
On 2 July 2007, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Sergio de Queiroz Duarte of Brazil as the High Representative for Disarmament at the Under-Secretary-General level.
Mr. Duarte is a career diplomat and holds the rank of Ambassador in the Brazilian Foreign Service, where he has served for 48 years. His diplomatic appointments include the Embassies of Brazil in Rome (1961-1963), Buenos Aires (1963-1966) and Washington (1970-1974), in addition to the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva (1966-1968), where he was a member of the Brazilian delegation to the 18-nation Disarmament Committee.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Duarte served as Alternate Representative of Brazil, Office of the Special Representative of Brazil for Disarmament Affairs in Geneva (1979-1986). Upon his promotion to the most senior rank of the Brazilian Foreign Service, he served as Ambassador to Nicaragua (1986-1991), Canada (1993-1996), China (1996-1999) and Austria (1999-2002). At this latter post, he was concurrently Ambassador to Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia and was accredited Representative of Brazil before the international organizations headquartered in Vienna (1999-2002) and Governor for Brazil at the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). His main assignments at the Foreign Ministry in Brasilia were Head of Personnel (1975-1979), Secretary-General for Budget Control and Inspector-General (1991), Executive Secretary-General (1991-1992), Under-Secretary-General for the Foreign Service (1992-1993) and Ambassador-at-Large for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (2003-2004).
In 1988, Mr. Duarte was elected President of the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty Prohibiting the Emplacement of Nuclear Weapons on the Seabed and the Subsoil Thereof ( Geneva). He served a one-year term (September 1999-September 2000) as Chairman of the Board of Governors of IAEA. In 2005, he was elected President of the VII Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, in New York. During his career, he has attended 12 sessions of the First Committee of the General Assembly in different capacities and 6 sessions of the United Nations Disarmament Commission. Ambassador Duarte has represented his country at many other international meetings and attended several seminars in the field of disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation.
Mr. Duarte was born in Rio de Janeiro. He graduated in law from the Federal Fluminense University (Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro) in 1958, and in public administration from the Brazilian School of Public Administration (Getulio Vargas Foundation, Rio de Janeiro) in 1957. He attended the Brazilian Diplomatic Academy (Instituto Rio Branco, Rio de Janeiro) for the regular course of two years (1956-1957) before being appointed Third Secretary in the Brazilian Foreign Service.