Friday, June 18, 2010

Angola: 74,495 firearms seized the last two years

Source: Government of Angola

The Angolan permanent representative to the United Nations, Ismael Gaspar Martins, Thursday in New York announced that a total of 74,495 firearms were seized in Angola the last two years, as a result of a Government action to fight the proliferation and trafficking of war material.

Ismael Martins was speaking at the UN 4th Biennial Session on small arms, accompanied by the deputy commander general of the National Police and coordinator of the National Commission for Disarmament of Civilians in Illegal Possession of Firearms, commissioner Paulo Gaspar de Almeida.

According to the diplomat, the situation of a country that is recovering from a lasting armed conflict made Angola to prioritise the combat to the proliferation and trafficking of small arms, which led to the seizure of the above mentioned amount of weapons.

The head of the Angolan delegation said the programme of collection of firearms in illegal possession of firearms that is part of the effort of consolidation of peace and national reconciliation, involves the Government, Non-Governmental Organisations and the civil society.

The diplomat said as well that in addition to this Government action, Angola has been engaged at sub-regional level – Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and Economic Community of Central Africa States (ECCAS) – in the ban on this evil.

Within SADC, he said, the effort is being made by all member countries committed to the implementation of the political declaration adopted by the Heads of State and Government of member states in Windhoek (Namibia), in March 2001.

As to ECCAS, according to the source, a Central African Convention on Control of Small Firearms, Ammunition, Parts and Components that may serve for their manufacture, repair and assembly, was adopted.

He stated that the current challenge has to do with maintaining the momentum reached towards the consolidation and development of existing initiatives to secure the accomplishment of commitments undertaken under the SADC declaration on firearms, the SADC Protocol on control of firearms, ammunition and related materials, the Bamako declaration on firearms trafficking and the UN action programme on the issue.

According to ambassador Ismael Martins, Angola shares the effort of other countries that advocate the fight against small firearms trafficking as they constitute a latent threat to peace, development and security.

Thus, taking into account that Angola still has a long way to go on this issue, the country's representative reiterated its appeal to the international community to continue extending all its support for the attainment of the purposes, towards the implementation of the UN Action Programme to prevent, fight and eliminate small firearms trafficking.

Meanwhile, on the fringes of the meeting going since June 18 to June 18, commissioner Paulo de Almeida, who arrived in New York on Sunday, met on Wednesday with the UN Secretariat's chief police adviser, Ann Marie Orler, with whom he discussed matters of various interest.

The Angolan delegation includes the director of the Office of Study and Regulations of the National Police General Command, Alberto Lisboa Mário, and ambassador Virgílio Faria, members of the National Commission on small arms.