African States Assisted by United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs in Preparation for Arms Trade Treaty Conference, 21-22 May

18 May 2012
DC/3351

African States Assisted by United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs in Preparation for Arms Trade Treaty Conference, 21-22 May

18 May 2012
Press Release
DC/3351
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

African States Assisted by United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs

 

in Preparation for Arms Trade Treaty Conference, 21-22 May

 

NEW YORK, 18 May (Office for Disarmament Affairs) — On 21 and 22 May, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, through its Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa, is holding the African Regional Consultations on the Arms Trade Treaty at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  The meeting is organized jointly with the International Action Network on Small Arms, in cooperation with the African Union Commission, and is made possible with the financial support of the Government of Australia.

The regional consultations will enable experts from African States to discuss the different issues that will arise in the Arms Trade Treaty Conference in light of the debate which took place during the preparatory process on key issues including the treaty’s scope, criteria and implementation.  Experts will also discuss a possible African common position on the Treaty.

The consultations will bring together governmental experts from 54 African countries, as well as officials from the United Nations, the African Union and African regional economic communities.  Speakers will include the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Angela Kane; the President-designate of the Arms Trade Treaty Conference, Ambassador Roberto García Moritán; and the African Union Peace and Security Commissioner, Ramtane Lamamra.  Leading regional and international think-tanks and non-governmental organizations will also take part in the meeting as observers.

The lack of an international framework on arms exports has obscured transparency and trust and contributed to the widespread availability and misuse of arms, which perpetuates conflict and undermines development.  Since 2006, United Nations Member States have been discussing the adoption of a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty, including at four sessions of the Preparatory Committee held between July 2010 and February 2012.  This preparatory process will culminate in a four-week United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, to be held in New York from 2 to 27 July.

The Centre has provided technical support to Central and West African States in the elaboration of common positions on the Arms Trade Treaty, including in the elaboration of a draft African common position, which will be discussed at the African Union Summit in July.

For more information on the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa, visit the website:  www.unrec.org.

Please direct all questions or inquiries to Colby Goodman, Political Affairs Officer, e-mail:  cgoodman@unrec.org.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.