At the twenty-first Assembly of the Organization of African Unity, held in Addis Ababa from 18 to 20 July 1985, the Heads of State and Government called upon the Secretary-General of the United Nations to establish a regional office in Africa to promote peace, disarmament and development on the continent (resolution AHG/Res.138XXI).
On 16 December 1985, in response to this call and reaffirming its previous resolutions on regional disarmament, the General Assembly adopted a resolution creating the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa - UNREC (resolution A/Res/40/151/G). UNREC was established within the United Nations Secretariat in January 1986 in Lomé, Togo.
UNREC is placed within the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA), under the Regional Disarmament Branch, and operates as its field precence in Africa. The Regional Disarmament Branch carries out the responsibilities of ODA at the regional level and from a regional perspective. There are two other regional disarmament centres in the world, in Lima, Peru, for Latin American and the Caribbean and in Kathmandu, Nepal, for Asia and the Pacific
The General Assembly gave UNREC the mandate to provide, upon request, substantive support for initiatives and other efforts of Member States of the African region towards the realization of measures of peace, arms limitations and disarmament in the region.
UNREC was further mandated to cooperate with the African Union and to coordinate the implementation of regional activities in Africa leading to peace, arms control and disarmament.
Scope of Work
UNREC is the only United Nations regional entity specialized in disarmament and non-proliferation in the African region. Its main function is to support Member States in translating decisions, instruments and commitments in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation into action, at national, sub-regional and regional levels.
Due to the specific nature of security issues in Africa, the Centre puts an emphasis on activities linked to the illicit trade of SALW and to support Member States in meeting their disarmament and non-proliferation commitments and obligations. The Centre provides support to African Member States and inter-governmental organizations in these activities It supports States by strengthening their capacity and providing them with the technical, legal and substantive assistance necessary to achieve sustainable peace and security.
The Regional Centre organizes its work around four separate thematic areas:Small Arms and Light Weapons; Conventional Arms; Weapons of Mass Destruction; and Security Sector Reform.
Secretary-General Reports on the Activities of UNREC
Since creation of UNREC in 1986, the Secretary-General issues a report each year on the activities undertaken by UNREC.
Organizational Structure of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs