On Tuesday, the 45th meeting of experts of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on security questions in central Africa (UNSAC) got under way in Kigali.
The meeting was attended by experts from member states committee and observers from regional and international organizations, namely UN sub-organizations, AU, ECCAS/CEEAC, Regional Centre on Small Arms and the Economic Community of Western African States among others.
Opening the meeting, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community, Claude Nikobisanzwe expressed Rwanda’s gratitude to re-join the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
“It is our pleasure to host this meeting as we did in 2013. This is a sign that Rwanda is back in the Economic Community of Central African states. Rwanda’s return will allow us to work closely with regional partners to find effective solutions to our problems”, he said.
He also stressed the importance of having such meetings, in the same spirit of change that prevails today on the African continent.
“This meeting took place at a convenient time when Africa manifests a profound desire for change through its leaders and youth”, he said.
“Today, we are facing serious challenges and growing threats from terrorist groups. We have to put forward different approaches to prevent the damaging consequences and set up disarmament initiatives, as this committee of the UNSAC always did. Indeed, in order to build an integrated and prosperous Africa, we have to continue fighting the proliferation of illicit weapons,” he added.
The 45th meeting of experts of UNSAC was attended by experts from eleven countries members of the committee i.e. Angola, Burundi, Congo, Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda and Sao Tome and Principe. It was also attended by observers from regional and international organizations.
During the meeting of Experts, Rwanda was elected to replace Cameroun to chair the committee for a period of 6 months, starting from today. UNSAC committee meets twice a year and is hosted by member states, following a rotation system. Rwanda previously hosted the 24th UNSAC in 2006 and the 36th in 2013.
UNSAC has the mandate to promote arms limitation and non-proliferation, disarmament and economic development in the sub-region.