CENTRAL AFRICAN MINISTERS ADOPT A COMMON POSITION FOR THE ARMS TRADE TREATY NEGOTIATIONS
On 16 March 2011, at its thirty-second ministerial meeting held in Sao Tomé, the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC) adopted the “Sao Tomé Declaration on a Central African Common Position on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)”.
The UN 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 2011.
The Central African Common Position expresses a coordinated and harmonised approach of UNSAC Member States on the ATT negotiations, conclusion and its future implementation. The Sao Tomé Declaration addresses the scope, criteria/parameters well as implementation aspects of a future ATT. 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 on-going negotiations leading to its finalization in 2012.
The guiding framework for the Central African input into the ATT 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 eight of the eleven members of UNSAC since last November 2010.
The ministerial meeting of the UN Committee also reviewed the geopolitical and security situation of Central Africa and discussed trans-border criminality, piracy in the Gulf of Guin ea, t he illegal exploitation of natural resources and its impact on peace and security; as well as the security implications of climate change in Central Africa.
For more information, please contact the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC), telephone: +228 253 50 00, fax: +228 250 43 15, email: mail at unrec.org .