Ban calls for more cross-border cooperation in Central Africa to target new threats
(UN News Centre) - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an increase in cross-border cooperation among Central African States to deal with new threats in the region, which include piracy, human trafficking and the proliferation of light weapons along major roadways linking countries.
In a message to a meeting of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) yesterday in N'Djamena, Chad, Mr. Ban said he was pleased with the decrease in armed conflict that has allowed countries to embark on a new phase of reconstruction and consolidation of peace.
However, he was also concerned about new threats that "could potentially set back the significant progress achieved by the sub-region toward a better future in peace, security and development."
In his remarks, delivered by his Special Representative for Central Africa, Abou Moussa, Mr. Ban stressed that collective action would be the most effective way to tackle these threats and reiterated the United Nations' support for ECCAS members to achieve this.
"These threats require regional and cross-border responses," Mr. Ban said. "The need for regional and cross-border responses raises the new challenge of coordination of our efforts.
He added that the mission of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) is to work closely with Member States and institutions of the sub-region to respond to the peace and security initiatives in Central Africa.
The Secretary-General said he was confident that collaboration among all partners would strengthen the progress made towards lasting peace and security in the sub-region.