New York, NY (BBN) – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday welcomed the launch of a new UN facility promoting disarmament and non-proliferation in the Asia-Pacific region.

The UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, based in Kathmandu, Nepal, will focus on nuclear proliferation, illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons, landmines and explosive remnants of war, terrorism and organized crime, and armed conflicts.

“Each of these issues is as vast and diverse as the region itself,” UN chief said in his message – delivered by his Chef de Cabinet Vijay Nambiar – to the ceremony marking the opening of the facility.

He noted that these challenges are not unique to the Asia-Pacific area, and that the world body’s work to boost global peace and security has “consistently stressed the importance of progress in disarmament and non-proliferation at all levels, national, regional and international.”

Established in 1987 by the General Assembly, the Regional Centre provides support, on request of the 43 Member States in the area, for peace and disarmament activities and encourages dialogue among nations, according to a UN press statement.

BBN/SI/SI/AD-19August08-12:10 AM