27 August 2007
Press Release

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



Meeting Will Discuss Legal Instrument on Small Arms,

Code of Conduct for Armed and Security Forces, Cross-Border Security Issues

NEW YORK, 27 August (Office for Disarmament Affairs) -- The United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa will hold its twenty-sixth ministerial meeting in Yaoundé, Cameroon, from 3 to 7 September.

The twenty-sixth ministerial meeting will consider recent developments in the geopolitical and security situation in selected Member States, as well as disarmament-related and security sector projects in Central Africa, in particular the Sao Tome Initiative.  The Initiative calls for the elaboration of a legal instrument for the control of small arms and light weapons, as well as of a code of conduct for armed and security forces in Central Africa.  As decided by the ministers during their last meeting in Sao Tome this past May, a special conference on cross-border security in Central Africa will be held within the framework of the Committee’s ministerial meeting.  The special conference will be chaired by Cameroon assisted by the Secretariat of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).

Participants in the twenty-sixth ministerial meeting include ministers and senior governmental experts from the Ministries for Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security as well as representatives from ECCAS, United Nations missions in the sub-region (United Nations Operation in Burundi, United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic, United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo), the Nairobi-based Regional Centre on Small Arms and Light Weapons (RECSA), the International Organization of la Francophonie and the Permanent Secretariat of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, and the Yaoundé-based Central African Centre for Human Rights and Democracy.

The Committee’s current bureau is presided by Sao Tome and Principe, assisted by the following officers:  First Vice-President, Cameroon; Second Vice-President, Angola; and Rapporteur, Gabon.  The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs serves as its Secretariat.

The Committee, whose major objective is to promote peace and security in the Central African region through confidence-building measures including arms limitation and disarmament, was established by the Secretary-General on 28 May 1992, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 46/37 B of 6 December 1991.  Its membership comprises the following countries:   Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda and Sao Tome and Principe.  The Committee meets twice a year at the ministerial level and it also organizes special conferences, seminars and workshops on peace and security related issues specific to Central Africa.

For more information, please contact the 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