12 May 2010
Press Release

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

United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa

Adopts Convention on Small Arms Control


NEW YORK, 12 May (United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs) ‑‑ At its thirtieth Ministerial Meeting, held last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the 11 member States of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC) unanimously adopted the “Central African Convention on the control of small arms and light weapons, their ammunition, parts and components that can be used for their manufacture, repair or assembly”.

In his message to the Ministerial Meeting, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed that the adoption of this Convention would constitute a significant milestone and would help reduce violence and bring peace and security dividends to the States of the region.

The Convention will be opened for signature at the Committee’s thirty-first Ministerial Meeting, in November 2010.  An implementation plan of the Convention is being elaborated and is expected to be adopted by the time the Convention enters into force.  The Secretary-General shall be the depositary of the Convention.

At the member States’ request, the Convention was elaborated by the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, in particular its Regional Disarmament Branch, including the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC).

The Convention, which addresses the security, legal, institutional and cultural specificities of the Central African subregion, is a testimony to the 11 countries’ willingness to establish a coherent subregional strategy to act collectively against illicit arms and ammunition.  The Convention’s scope is broad, and takes into account the most recent developments in global and regional initiatives aimed at combating illicit small arms and light weapons.  The Convention also draws upon the best practices and experience of Africa’s and other regions.

In this regard it should also be noted that, at the meeting of the Security Council held on 19 March devoted to “Central African Region:  Impact of illicit arms trafficking on peace and security”, the Council expressed its grave concern about the illicit manufacture, transfer and circulation of small arms and light weapons and their excessive accumulation and uncontrolled spread in many regions of the world, particularly in the subregion of Central Africa and welcomed the elaboration of a legally binding instrument on the control of small arms and light weapons.

UNSAC, whose objective is to promote peace and security in Central Africa through confidence-building measures, notably in the fields of disarmament and arms control, was established by the Secretary-General on 28 May 1992, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 46/37 B of 6 December 1991.  The Committee is composed of the following 11 member States:   Angola; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Rwanda; and Sao Tome and Principe.

For more information, please contact the Office for Disarmament Affairs, Regional Disarmament Branch, at tel.:  +1 212 963 2533, or the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa, tel.:  +228 253 50 00, fax:  +228 250 43 15, e-mail:  mail@unrec.org.

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For information media • not an official record