|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Central African Ministers Adopt Common Position for Arms Trade Treaty Negotiations
SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE, 17 March (Office for Disarmament Affairs) — On 16 March, at its thirty-second ministerial meeting held in Sao Tomé, the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa adopted the “Sao Tomé Declaration on a Central African Common Position on the Arms Trade Treaty”.
The United Nations Committee is composed of the following Member States: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda and Sao Tome and Principe.
The Sao Tomé Declaration comes shortly after the second session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2012 United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, held in New York from 28 February to 4 March.
The Central African Common Position expresses a coordinated and harmonised approach of Committee member States on the arms trade treaty negotiations, conclusion and its future implementation. The Sao Tomé Declaration addresses the scope, criteria and parameters, as well as implementation aspects of a future such treaty. In adopting this Declaration, the Central African countries ensured that the challenges and concerns of Central Africa would be known and taken into account during the ongoing negotiations leading to the treaty’s finalization in 2012.
The guiding framework for the Central African input into the arms trade treaty process will be the Kinshasa Convention on the control of small arms and light weapons in Central Africa, which was initiated in Sao Tomé and which has been signed by 8 of the 11 members of the Advisory Committee since November 2010.
The ministerial meeting of the United Nations Committee also reviewed the geopolitical and security situation of Central Africa and discussed transborder criminality, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, the illegal exploitation of natural resources and its impact on peace and security, as well as the security implications of climate change in Central Africa.
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