|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Reduced Arms Flow Will Help Combat Piracy, Cross-border Threats, Terrorism,
Secretary-General Tells Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the thirty-third Ministerial Meeting of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa, originally delivered in French by Abou Moussa, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Central Africa and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), in Bangui, Central African Republic, on 8 December:
I would first of all like to thank His Excellency, François Bozizé Yangouvonda, President of the Central African Republic, as well as the Government and the people of the Central African Republic for having accepted to host this important meeting and for the generous hospitality extended to its participants.
I would also like to commend the commitment of the Central African Republic to the achievement of the objectives of this Committee, which had underscored the importance of strengthening interregional cooperation during its eighteenth Meeting, held here in Bangui 10 years ago.
Significant progress has been achieved since then, including the Central Africa Convention [for the Control of] Small Arms and Light Weapons adopted on 30 April 2010 during the thirtieth Ministerial Meeting of the Committee, the Sao Tome Declaration on the Central Africa Common Position on the process for an Arms Trade Treaty, which was signed on 16 March 2011 during the thirty-second Meeting of the Committee.
These achievements were realized thanks to the political will of your countries to address the peace and security challenges facing your subregion. I encourage you to make greater efforts to consolidate these achievements. In this regard, as you prepare to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Committee, the ratification and early entry into force of the Kinshasa Convention will be an important testament of the credibility of all your initiatives against the illicit circulation of light weapons in Central Africa.
A decrease in the flow of arms in this subregion will facilitate efforts against the growing threat of piracy and maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, the negative impact of the activities of trans-border armed groups, notably the Lord’s Resistance Army, election-related tensions, cross-border insecurity and criminality, as well as terrorist activities. I am firmly engaged in the fight against these threats and encourage this Committee to continue to reflect on effective solutions for their eradication. Within the context of increasing piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, I recently deployed an assessment mission to the region, which will make recommendations on the elimination of this threat.
I would finally like to thank you for the support of your respective Governments for UNOCA [United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa] to effectively implement the political mandate conferred on it as a regional Office, including the task of serving as Secretariat of this United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Question in Central Africa. I urge you to uphold this collaborative spirit.
I thank you and wish you full success in your deliberations.
* *** *For information media • not an official record