Fortifying Regional Disarmament and Security, Countering Potential Cyberwarfare, Misuse of Dual-Purpose Technologies, Focus of Debate in First Committee
Fortifying Regional Disarmament and Security, Countering Potential Cyberwarfare, Misuse of Dual-Purpose Technologies, Focus of Debate in First Committee
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-fifth General Assembly
16th Meeting (AM)
Fortifying Regional Disarmament and Security, Countering Potential Cyberwarfare,
Misuse of Dual-Purpose Technologies, Focus of Debate in First Committee
Five Drafts Tabled, Including on Role of Science and Technology in International
Security, Disarmament; Strengthening Security, Cooperation in Mediterranean Region
Facing new technological challenges, calming regional tensions, destroying arms and building strong common regulatory initiatives were among the themes of a basket of four resolutions and one decision tabled today as the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) continued its thematic debates.
Modern society’s emerging dependence on of the new cutting-edge information and communication technologies was giving rise to new vulnerabilities that could undermine activities of Governments, markets and other entities, said Brazil’s representative. With that in mind, he urged the international community to consider establishing instruments to deal with cyberwarfare. At the same time, he encouraged the United Nations to play a leading role in addressing the issue of security of information and communications technology in conflict situations, paying attention to identification, classification of information warfare weapons and establishment of multilateral rules.
With an eye to the dual use of science and technology, the representative of India said national regulations should be strengthened and implemented, and international agreements forged to regulate international transfers of those sensitive technologies. He tabled a draft decision on the role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament, which would have the General Assembly decide to include the subject in the provisional agenda of its next session.
Part of the approach to coping with such common challenges was to establish a strong regional partnership, said Singapore’s delegate, who described her country as a global transhipment hub with a practical part to play in the transport of weapons. She said Singapore had established strict controls over the transport of science and technology with military applications. As the threat of proliferation grew more complex, it was critical that the world worked together to bring about a more peaceful environment, she said.
Opening the Committee’s thematic debate on regional disarmament and security, were the Directors of the United Nations Regional Centres for Peace and Disarmament in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and Africa, and the Acting Director of the United Nations RegionalCentre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Among the Centres’ recent achievements, highlighted during a panel discussion, had been the designation of the African Centre by the African Union as a partner for its small arms and light weapons efforts, award-winning training courses in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the annual non-proliferation conference in Asia and the Pacific.
Making the case for the Centre’s role in Latin America, Peru’s representative explained that a huge part of his region’s resources were being lost due to the fallout of armed conflict and the illicit trafficking of arms. Combating that problem required the collective effort of the international community in promoting activities to implement disarmament and peace measures.
The Centre — knowing the areas where it needed to focus its work — had been vital to directing efforts where it counted most. He then introduced a draft resolution on the Centre, reiterating support for its role in promoting United Nations disarmament efforts at the regional level.
Determined to promote greater understanding at all levels of society, Mexico’s delegation presented a draft resolution on the United Nations study on education for disarmament and non-proliferation. The study had focused on the need for arms reduction as a means to decrease the possibility and gravity of armed conflict. The report also contained an analysis on how to incorporate education in post-conflict situations.
He introduced another draft resolution on the United Nations Programme on Information about Disarmament, saying the text recognized the importance of that programme for promoting transparency and as a worthy source of information, which could provide input to States in discussions in that field.
Regional stability, asserted Cuba’s representative, could be bolstered by confidence-building leading to consent and participation that would avoid conflicts and prevent the accidental break out of hostilities. She said United Nations activities at the regional level should be promoted in a substantive way, particularly by strengthening the regional centres. Regional and subregional efforts could be boosted if resources were diverted from arms to development.
Several delegates drew attention to brewing and persistent regional tensions, saying those situations needed the attention of the international community. The representative of Azerbaijan regretted that the international community, especially those mediating the negotiating process between his country and Armenia, showed certain indifference to the problem of the accumulation of armaments and ammunitions on occupied Azerbaijani territory.
What was needed, he said, was for all States to observe international norms and principles of international law concerning, among other things, the cooperation among States, which was of great importance for maintaining international and regional peace and security.
Algeria’s representative said his country had always pursued an active Mediterranean policy based on mutual respect. Algeria supported the entry into force of the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba) in the belief that denuclearization in Africa was essential for enhancing peace and security in the Mediterranean. Algeria had also led an initiative for true regional cooperation to prevent and counter terrorism in the Sahel region, he said, before introducing a draft resolution on strengthening of security and cooperation in the Mediterranean region. Challenges that threatened the stability of Africa also had repercussions in the Mediterranean region, he added.
Also speaking during the thematic debate on other disarmament measures and international security was the representative of Switzerland.
Participating as well in the thematic debate on regional disarmament and security were the representatives of Brazil, on behalf of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), Iraq and Cameroon.
The Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on Friday 22 October to continue its thematic debates and to hear the introduction of related draft texts.
The First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) met today to conclude its thematic debate on other disarmament measures and international security, to begin its debate on regional disarmament and security and to hear the introduction of related draft resolutions and decisions.
JÜRG LAUBER ( Switzerland) said, on the subject of the draft introduced yesterday on women, disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation (document A/C.1/65/L.39), that all approaches to disarmament should include the gender aspect. Regarding armed violence, experiences of men and women differed greatly, and that difference must be taken into account. With that in mind, he called on all delegations to support the draft.
HAMID ALI RAO ( India) said the international community had recognized that scientific technology could have civilian and military applications. Developments in that field had a wide impact on, among other things, food security and protection of the environment. Science and technology was a key to boosting development in developing countries. Assistance, in that regard, was essential. Science and technology could also contribute towards disarmament and non-proliferation. Global transfers of sensitive technologies with military applications should be regulated, and national regulations should be strengthened and implemented. International agreements in that field should be implemented.
He then tabled a draft decision on the role of science and technology in the context of international security and disarmament (document A/C.1/65/L.40), hoping the document would be adopted by consensus.
ANNABELLA NG ( Singapore) said positive developments, including efforts to bring forward the Conference on Disarmament, should be the impetus for further work in disarmament. The current fight against weapons of mass destruction should also be continued. In its nuclear security report, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) noted that 200 cases had been reported of nuclear material theft.
She said that Singapore, as a global transhipment hub, had a practical part to play in the transport of weapons. Her country had strict controls over the transport of science and technology with military applications. In addition, the Proliferation Security Initiative addressed those issues.
Singapore was also co-hosting an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting, which was a forum for regional capacity-building in that area, she noted. As the threat of proliferation grew more complex, it was critical that the world worked together to bring about a more peaceful environment.
LUIZ FILIPE DE MACEDO SOARES ( Brazil) said that modern society now depended on the availability of modern information and communication technologies and that those technologies had become extremely valuable resources. That dependence, however, had given rise to new vulnerabilities that could undermine activities of Governments, markets and other entities. They also represented assets that could be used for cyberwarfare. Already, some national militaries had units trained to intrude into communication networks. That same tactic could be used by terrorists and other criminal organizations. It was necessary, therefore, for the international community to deal with criminal activities involving information and communication technologies.
In that regard, he urged the international community to consider establishment of instruments to deal with cyberwarfare. Discussions should be held in relevant forums, under United Nations leadership, to tackle issues like assessing national network structures to identify effective methods of protection; implementing tools to enable the tracing of the origin of cyberattacks; qualifying national instruments in the area of cybersecurity; and ensuring that discriminatory tendencies that could prevent access of some States to information and communication technologies were avoided. The United Nations should also play a leading role in the issue of security of information and communications technology in conflict situations, paying attention to identification, classification of information-warfare weapons and establishment of multilateral rules.
Brazil had taken part in the group of governmental experts on the field of information and telecommunication in the context of international security, he said. The group’s final report, which had been adopted by consensus, acknowledged the existence of threats and vulnerabilities. It also recognized that uncertainties, in the absence of common understanding of acceptable State behaviour, could present a challenge. In that regard, it proposed several confidence-building measures. While Brazil supported those recommendations, it noted that they were mainly focused on confidence-building. It hoped that, in the near future, discussions could be resumed to address new measures, such as the development of new standards in information security. His country supported the draft resolution that had been introduced by the Russian Federation on information and telecommunication in the context of international security.
PABLO ADRIÁN ARROCHA OLABUENAGA( Mexico) said that disarmament and non-proliferation education was an indispensable tool to achieve a decrease in arms worldwide. Education for disarmament was geared to citizen involvement. Mexico hoped that Governments, the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as non-governmental organizations and other entities involved in disarmament, would help advance the process to enable it to become part and parcel of the education process for the next generation.
He said his country was determined to promote greater understanding at all levels of society and, as such, was pleased to, once again, present draft resolution on the United Nations study on education for disarmament and non-proliferation (document A/C.1/65/L.53). That study had focused on the need for arms reduction as a means to decrease the possibility and gravity of armed conflict. It also contained an analysis on how to incorporate education in post-conflict situations. The key was to have coordination among competent bodies within the United Nations, international organizations and civil organizations. Mexico promoted the actions contained in report. It had also worked to include the language of the report in official documents and exhorted all States to implement the recommendations in the Secretary-General’s study in an exhaustive and all-encompassing manner. They should also continue the reporting responsibilities included in the report.
Referring to the draft resolution on the United Nations Programme on Information about Disarmament (document A/C.1/65/L.52), he said the text recognized the importance of that programme as a worthy source of information, which could provide input to States in discussions in that field. The programme contributed to promoting the mechanisms for transparency. Mexico commended the Office for Disarmament Affairs for its various publications and the Department of Public Information for its contributions in support of the Programme on Information about Disarmament.
Thematic Debate on Regional Disarmament and Security
In a panel introducing the thematic debate on regional disarmament and security, AGNES MARCAILLOU, Chief of the Regional Disarmament Branch of the Office of Disarmament Affairs, told the delegates about activities the branch had conducted over recent months. The branch had been able to accomplish its mission, following the General Assembly’s allocation of funds and posts in 2009.
The branch had been audited with satisfactory results, she said. The General Assembly had designated the branch as the executing disarmament entity for regional disarmament. Coherence and effectiveness were part of the branch’s philosophy, along with a seamless partnership with intergovernmental machinery and regional organizations. Programmes were aimed at capacity-building and training, outreach and advocacy and technical assistance. The branch was working at United Nations Headquarters and in the field as part of “UN as One”.
She highlighted a number of achievements over the past year, which had included the African Union’s designation of United Nations Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa as a partner for its small arms and light weapons efforts, award-winning training courses in Latin America and the Caribbean and the annual non-proliferation conference in Asia and the Pacific.
CAROLYNE-MÉLANIE RÉGIMBAL, Acting Director, United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, said that, over that last year, she had received 28 requests for assistance from States in areas including the areas of firearms control and capacity-building.
Specifically, areas of assistance had involved national and subregional law enforcement training courses, human rights, gender equality and use of force. Targeting field operators responsible for firearm controls was effective and the law enforcement training had been the single most important contribution in 2009 and 2010.
She said that activities also included technical assistance in the destruction of firearms, aiming to permanently take those weapons out of circulation. Eight island States had benefited from a three-year project. The Andean assistance package focused on legal and firearms policy and capacity-building for law enforcement officials. The focus of future projects would be dictated by the needs and requests of States. Some projects would include efforts involving gun-free schools and participation in meetings on issues including disarmament and development.
TAIJIRO KIMURA, Director of the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, said that the Centre had achieved modest progress in the past year, including providing support for the implementation of global norms through regional and subregional initiatives. It had organized regional seminars on regional cooperation in the area of brokering in small arms and light weapons. One seminar, for South and Central Asia, had been held in Kathmandu in June 2009 and another, for South-East Asia, had taken place in Bangkok in February this year.
In the area of implementation of the United Nations Programme of Action to Combat, Prevent and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects, he said the Centre had organized a regional meeting for South-East Asia in Bali in March. It was also promoting dialogue and confidence-building by organizing annual conferences on disarmament and non-proliferation in two seminars, in Jeju, Republic of Korea, and Saitama, Japan, respectively. Those seminars promoted dialogue on disarmament and represented a modest contribution toward the successful outcome of the 2010 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
The Centre’s programme for the coming year included plans to organize a workshop for the media in Beijing next January, he went on. That regional workshop, for East and South-East Asia, would take place in Beijing. The Centre would continue to do everything to live up to the high expectations of Member States and the region. In that regard, he urged Member States to take full ownership of the Centre and to support its programmes.
IVOR RICHARD FUNG, Director of United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa, said that that the Centre had a presence in all the regions of Africa. In West Africa, it was executing two major projects in support of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). One project involved the elaboration of a guide for the implementation of the regional treaty on combating trafficking in small arms and light weapons, and was aimed at harmonization of national legislation. The second was in support of the development of a database of national legislation in the region.
In addition, he noted, the Centre was providing support to several countries for the elaboration of national legislation for the implementing of the United Nations Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons. The Centre had been executing a major project on the regulation of small arms brokering in support of the implementation of the Nairobi Declaration. That project had allowed the Centre to conduct a survey in six participating countries and then to design software to allow those countries to electronically register brokers. The Centre intended to expand that project to other countries and regions.
In Central Africa, the Centre was active in support of the elaboration of the Kinshasa Convention, which had been adopted in April, he went on. Arrangements were being made for its signature, along with the elaboration of an implementation plan. A draft plan would be examined at a ministerial meeting in Brazzaville next month, to enable its entry into force. The Centre was also playing the role of secretariat to the Standing Committee on Security Questions in the region, which met twice a year.
In Southern Africa, he said the Centre was providing support and collaboration to the Southern African Development Community (SADC). It was supporting the African Union process ahead of the meeting of States parties of the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (Treaty of Pelindaba).
In North Africa, the Centre had recently lent support to the organization in Cairo of meetings on Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), he said. It had also carried out cross-regional activities in area of security sector reform, including supporting the election processes in Togo and Guinea by training law enforcement officers. In addition, it was supporting the organization of workshops on the problem of armed violence, as well as seminars to share regional best practices. The next seminar in that series would take place in Nairobi in January 2011. The Centre continued to support regional meetings with partners for the implementation of United Nations Programme of Action. A major area in that regard had been the provision of technical assistance to the African Union Commission in the area of small arms and light weapons. In that instance, it was the only United Nations entity participating in the group to design a strategy.
For the coming year, he noted that the Centre was planning activities on technical assistance to States in the context of the Kinshasa Convention, as it had been designated to provide the support required for the implementation of that Convention. The Centre was also providing technical support to the African Union with regard to preparations for the negotiation of the arms trade treaty.
Mr. DE MACEDA SOARES (Brazil), speaking on behalf of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), said that the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean differed from other such centres because its mandate included, not only the implementation of peace and disarmament measures, but also the promotion of economic and social development. The Centre had succeeded in implementing programmes of work characterized by a multidisciplinary approach and an enhanced level of coordination with different actors in the region. Among its initiatives were programmes promoting confidence-building measures and prevention and solution of conflicts, and assistance to States in reducing and preventing armed violence.
He said that the South American Defence Council of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), created in 2008 with the aim of consolidating the region as a zone of peace, had adopted a statute and biannual plans of action underlining measures on defence policies, exchanges of information and other related subjects. The Council had achieved agreements on the establishment of a mechanism of confidence-building measures and regional security, and discussion had been held on the methodology of measuring military expenditure, in order to promote transparency. MERCOSUR supported that forum, which contributed to strengthening regional unity, peace and security.
There was an urgent need for preventing, combating and eradicating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons because of the harmful effects of those activities on the security of all States, subregions, regions and the world. He reiterated the importance of continuing bilateral, subregional and regional efforts to advance cooperation on security matters and to implement adopted agreements and declarations.
YADIRA LEDESMA HERNÁNDEZ ( Cuba) said regional and subregional efforts could be much more effective, particularly if resources were diverted from arms projects to development. Regional disarmament efforts should take into account the particularities of each region, and regional and subregional approaches and confidence-building measures should be applied simultaneously. Confidence-building leading to consent and participation would avoid conflicts, prevent the accidental outbreak of hostilities and contribute to regional stability. The largest military Powers had significant responsibility in the regional and international context.
She said that zones free of nuclear weapons in various were an effective contribution to strengthening international peace and security, and those should be respected. United Nations activities at the regional level should be promoted in a substantive way, particularly by strengthening the regional centres.
ALEXIS AQUINO ( Peru) said that Latin America was a heterogeneous region in terms of the level of development, but the countries were homogenous in terms of the challenges they faced. Those challenges were common to most countries in the region, but there were differences in the levels of urgency required to tackle them. A huge part of the resources of the region were being lost due to the fallout of armed conflict and the illicit trafficking of arms. Combating that problem required the collective effort of the international community in promoting activities to implement disarmament and peace measures.
Referring to the activities of the United Nations Regional Centre in Latin America, he said that knowing the areas where it needed to focus its work had been vital to directing efforts where it counted most. Peru thanked the Centre’s leadership for its work and noted that the Centre’s activities had been focused on combating illicit traffic. It had also provided training and worked to secure borders in the region. Last year, 201 civil servants in law enforcement from 11 States in the region had been trained in fighting illicit trafficking of firearms. The Centre had also undertaken activities in the Andean region and had organized technical assistance for eight States in areas of arms destruction and stockpile management. In addition, efforts were under way to evaluate national capacity to destroy weapons. In March, a meeting had been held in Lima to review progress in implementing the United Nations Programme of Action on small arms and light weapons.
Mr. Aquino then introduced a draft resolution on the United Nations Regional Centre in Latin America, (document A/C.1/65/L.21) which, he said, reiterated support for the role of the Centre for promoting United Nations disarmament efforts at regional level. He appealed for its approval by consensus.
DJAMEL MOKTEFI ( Algeria) said that his country had always pursued an active Mediterranean policy based on mutual respect. Algeria supported the entry into force of the Pelindaba Treaty because it believed that denuclearization in Africa was essential for enhancing peace and security in the Mediterranean. Algeria had spearheaded an initiative for true regional cooperation to prevent and counter terrorism in the Sahel region, which would have negative security implications for Africa. There was need to redouble efforts to enhance the capacity of States in the struggle against terrorism. It was evident that challenges that threatened the stability of Africa also had repercussions in the Mediterranean region.
Next, he introduced a draft resolution on Strengthening of Security and Cooperation in the Mediterranean Region (document A/C.1/65/L.30). He said that draft text mirrored previous resolutions on the subject and that it noted efforts by Mediterranean countries to confront their common challenges. It called on all States in the region that still needed to do so, to accede to all legal instruments on disarmament and non-proliferation. It also called for the stepping up of confidence-building measures by submitting reports, through the United Nations system, on military spending. In addition, it encouraged countries to accelerate cooperation against terrorism in all its forms and aspects, including preventing the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists. The draft’s co-sponsors were counting on the support of Member States for its consensus approval.
OGTAY ISMAYIL-ZADA ( Azerbaijan) said national, regional and international peace and security depended on whether States observed the norms and principles of international law and used them as a guiding tool for shaping their foreign and security policies. Unfortunately, unlawful use of force was still not removed from the context of international and regional relations. Today, civilian populations were suffering around the world due to the manifest failure of individual States to fulfil their most basic responsibilities.
Most vivid among the examples of misconduct of the norms and principles of international law, he said, was the almost two-decade-long still unresolved Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict, which represented a major threat to international and regional peace and security. The conflict had resulted in the occupation of almost one-fifth of Azerbaijan’s territory and made one in nine citizens of his country internally displaced persons or refugees. War crimes had been committed in the course of that conflict. Armenia bore the primary responsibility for occupying Azerbaijan’s territories, committing the most serious international crimes, carrying out “ethnic cleansing” and creating a mono-ethnic culture in the captured Azerbaijani territories.
Despite ongoing efforts to resolve the conflict, military activities in the occupied areas of Azerbaijan were in gross violation of international law, he said. Armenia had intensified build-up of its military presence and capability in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and other occupied Azerbaijani territories. Available data indicated that, since the occupation, the numbers of unaccounted for and uncontrolled arms in those territories had consistently increased. He was concerned inter alia by the fact that the conventional arms control mechanism was not effective in those territories, as could be seen by the accumulation of armaments and ammunitions.
He said his country regretted that the international community, especially those mediating the negotiating process, showed certain indifferences to that problem. One particular concern related to the possibility of use of specific weapons by terrorist groups. More efficient measures were needed to prevent those who were in military and political control of occupied territories from acquiring conventional weapons. Statements of Armenian officials were full of accusations towards Azerbaijan about its allegedly militaristic intentions and armaments race. Armenians were stirring hysteria about the rapid development of Azerbaijan, and he understood the true reasons of Armenia’s misinterpretation launched in all international forums to be — to create a smokescreen of its intentions in the occupied territories and to win time.
As for increasing military budgets, he said Armenia omitted saying that annual defence spending of Azerbaijan remained in line with overall budget increases, or that Azerbaijan continued to spend a much smaller percentage of its gross domestic product (GDP) on the army than that of Armenia, or that the size of Azerbaijan’s armed forces was in proportion to its population, territory and length of borders and remained less than Armenia’s. It was not accidental that Armenia’s military expenditures in GPD calculations was one of the highest rates in the world, which was why Armenia remained a threat to security and peace in his region.
As a country suffering from the devastation of war and occupation, Azerbaijan believed that faithful observance of the worldwide accepted norms and principles of international law concerning, among other things, cooperation among States, was of great importance for maintaining international and regional peace and security, he said. Azerbaijan’s strategy was aimed at the liberation of all occupied territories and thus, the restoration of its territorial integrity. As long as Armenia continued to follow its aggressive policy, any talks about peace, stability and all-inclusive cooperation in the region were irrelevant.
AGHADIR AL-NAKIB (Iraq) said regions free of nuclear weapons could be decisive tools in the area of non-proliferation, as well as the expression of the values shared by many countries. The creation of those zones should be a goal for nuclear-weapon States because that would curtail nuclear proliferation in a horizontal manner and help avert the possibility of conflict and war.
She said that the Middle East was a tension-filled region, and an arms race escalation would have catastrophic results. To create a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region required a doubling of efforts and political resolve. The necessity of creating such a zone was evident; the region was not nuclear-weapon-free, owing to Israel’s nuclear-weapon arsenal. Serious follow-up was needed to the latest NPT Review Conference. She reaffirmed the relevance of the decision on the Middle East from the 1995 Review Conference.
She also called for the implementation of the Security Council resolutions that requested Israel put its nuclear facilities under IAEA supervision and that dealt with the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East. The creation of such a zone would strengthen the security of the countries involved. Iraq supported and participated in efforts to create those zones around the world and in the Middle East. All efforts to create such a zone in her region should start with Israeli accession to the NPT.
MAMOUDOU MANA ( Cameroon) said that when the Standing Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa was established, it had been mandated to plan and adopt confidence-building measures in that region. Over the years, that mandate had been implemented through such actions as the negotiation of a non-aggression pact and the creation of a peace and security council as parts of the pillars that made up the subregional segment of the continental security structure. There had also been action in the area of small arms and light weapons, and last July, the Member States of the region studied the implementation of the Kinshasa Convention. In addition, a draft code of conduct for the armed forces had been proposed to guide the military in the region in carrying out their functions. Also, the principle of the rotation of the ministerial meetings had enabled ministers and their entourages to experience the situation in different countries.
He said that the Standing Committee played an important role in maintaining security in the region, and he encouraged it to continue holding its ministerial meetings. It should also organize conferences on current security issues. The Standing Committee meetings should not be subjected to budgetary restrictions. His country was pleased that, in 2010, scheduled meetings had been able to take place, but he stressed the need for significant contributions to the Committee’s trust fund. The Committee’s secretariat also needed to be transferred to Central Africa. His country welcomed the creation of the United Nations subregional bureau in Central Africa, with headquarters in Libreville, and looked forward to the Secretary-General’s submission regarding the budget to get it up and running. The Secretary-General should act in consultation with Central African countries.
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