21 October 2011
Press Release

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

United Nations Event Promotes Regional Efforts to Combat


Illicit Small Arms in Central Africa


The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and the Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations held today a special event entitled “Enhancing Small Arms Control in Central Africa — The Kinshasa Convention” at the Permanent Mission of Austria.  The event — from 1 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. at the Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations — was to promote this new subregional instrument to control and fight the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Central Africa.

Last month, all 11 member States of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee signed the Central African Convention for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition, Parts and Components that can be used for their Manufacture, Repair and Assembly (Kinshasa Convention).  The Committee comprises the following members:  Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda and Sao Tome and Principe.

The Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa provided technical assistance and policy advice to States members of the Standing Committee in the drafting of the Kinshasa Convention, of which the United Nations Secretary-General is the depositary.  The Regional Centre benefited from a generous financial contribution from the Government of Austria.

This Convention is the first such instrument in Central Africa, and plays a significant role in the collective efforts by Member States in this region to combat illicit small arms and light weapons.  The Secretary-General congratulated Member States in concluding such a convention, which “would represent an important step and would help to reduce violence and bring undeniable dividends in terms of peace and security to the States of the region”.

At today’s event, on the margins of the General Assembly’s First Committee, participants discussed the achievement represented by the adoption of the Kinshasa Convention, as well as its implementation and strategies to achieve it.  The event featured panel discussions by the Permanent Representatives from Sao Tome and Principe (Chairman of the Standing Committee) and of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Austria and the Director of the Regional Centre in Africa.

For more information on the side event, please contact Nicolas Gérard at tel.:  1 212 963 8199, e-mail:  nicolas.gerard@un.org.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record