7 September 2007
Press Release
AFR/1577
DC/3083

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Ministerial meeting of Advisory Committee on Central African


security questions concludes in Yaoundé

 


YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon, 7 September (Office of Disarmament Affairs) -- The twenty-sixth Ministerial Meeting of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa was organized from 3 to 7 September by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and hosted by the Government of Cameroon in Yaoundé.


The major objective of the Committee is to promote peace and security in the subregion through confidence-building measures, including arms limitation and disarmament.


The Committee met to discuss security developments in some Central African States, including Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Despite encouraging progress, Central Africa’s political, security and socio-economic situation remains worrying.  In the case of Burundi, compliance by all parties with the ceasefire agreement implementation mechanism was discussed.  In the case of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the participants were very concerned by the continuing violence in the Kivus, and particularly by the repeated violations of human rights and international humanitarian law carried out by the militias and other foreign armed groups.


The Committee welcomed the deployment of an international United Nations-European Union force in north-eastern Central African Republic and eastern Chad.  It also welcomed the signature of a joint communiqué between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo during the visit of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Rwanda to the Democratic Republic of Congo, from 2 to 4 September.


The Committee also reviewed progress on the “Initiative of Sao Tome”, which calls for the elaboration of a legal instrument for the control of small arms and light weapons in Central Africa, and of a Code of Conduct for armed and security forces in the Central African subregion.


During the opening ceremony, messages from the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Secretary-General of the Economic Community of Central African States were delivered.  The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cameroon made an opening statement.   The Committee elected the following bureau:   Cameroon, President; Angola and Gabon, Vice-Presidents; and Chad, Rapporteur.


Within the framework of the Committee, a special conference on cross-border security issues was held from 4 to 6 September.  The conference addressed a number of subregional security challenges, including cross-border flows of illicit weapons, human trafficking and crime, as well as the exploitation of natural resources in border regions.  The ministerial segment of the conference adopted a political declaration renewing their determination to address these issues and take appropriate measures.


All 11 States members of the Committee attended the twenty-sixth Ministerial Meeting, namely:  Angola; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Rwanda; and Sao Tomé and Principe.  Also in attendance were representatives from United Nations entities, including United Nations Peace-Building Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA) and the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy of Central African States, the African Union, the Nairobi-based Regional Centre on Small Arms and Light Weapons, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, the Permanent Secretariat of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.


The Committee decided that it will hold its twenty-seventh Ministerial Meeting in Luanda, Angola, in February 2008.


For more information, please contact:  Regional Disarmament Branch, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, tel.:  212 963 6208, e-mail:  ddaweb@un.org.


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For information media • not an official record