Central African Subregion Security Committee Commemorates Tenth Anniversary
Kinshasa, 22-26 April 2002
The lingering wars which plague the area were a matter of continuing concern to the members of the subregional organization, the UN Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa, which celebrated its tenth anniversary at a ceremony in Kinshasa on 26 April, in conjunction with its seventeenth ministerial meeting.
The ceremony was marked by a congratulatory message from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Delegations from 10 central African states, Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, and Sao Tome and Principe, reviewed the political and security situation, as well as measures taken in the area of regional cooperation. While commending Angola, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo for steps taken toward peace and democracy, they expressed their deep concern over the persistence of armed conflicts in the subregion. Delegations finalized the arrangements for the Biyahongo joint military exercises, to be held in Gabon in 2003, which aim to prepare troops to take part in subregional peacekeeping and humanitarian relief operations.
The ministers and heads of delegations adopted the “Kinshasa Declaration”, in which they noted past accomplishments, including the creation of a Council for Peace and Security in Central Africa (COPAX) and the United Nations Subregional Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa, and renewed their commitment to carry out other decisions, such as the implementation of the Programme of Action of the UN Conference on the Illicit Traffic in Small Arms, the Subregional Conference on the Question of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, and the Subregional Conference on the Protection of Women and Children in Armed Conflict in Central Africa.
The Committee, serviced by the UN Secretariat, was established on 28 May 1992 in accordance with General Assembly resolution 46/37 B, to develop confidence-building measures and promote arms restraint and development in the Central African subregion. It meets at least twice a year at the ministerial level and organizes conferences, seminars and workshops on various issues related to peace and security in Central Africa.