Cameroon: Star Building - Congo Basin Forest, Light Weapons Discussed

Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute on October 20, 2020 in two separate audiences discussed preservation of the Cong Basin Forest and the fight against illicit flows of weapons.

Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute on October 20, 2020 morning had discussions with the German Facilitator of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership, Christian Ruck who was accompanied to the Star Building by the German Ambassador to Cameroon, Corinna Fricke.

After the audience, Christian Ruck told the press that Cameroon was an important country for his partnership facilitation in the Congo Basin Forest. He said the facilitation was to help support the Central African Forest Commission (COMIFAC) whose acting President is Cameroon's Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Jules Doret Ndongo. He disclosed that he was in Cameroon as part of his facilitation mission which is also part of the common goal of the member countries of COMIFAC that seeks to preserve the second largest forest basin in the world, preserve biodiversity and at the same time use the forest in a sustainable way. He told the press to have promised the Prime Minister to place the Congo Basin Forest at a higher international pedestal. He disclosed that the year 2021 will be a year for big international conferences such as the UN Conference on Climate Change. He said he will like to facilitate for a fair share of the climate change facilities to go to the Congo Basin forest.

In the afternoon, Prime Minister Dion Ngute received in audience Dr Ivor Richard Fung who is the Deputy Director of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs and Director of the Unit for Small and Light Weapons at the UN. He is attending the ceremony organised by the Ministry of External Relations in Yaounde on the occasion of the African Union Amnesty Month. After discussions with the Prime Minister, he told the press that, "We came to brief the Prime Minister on the results of a project which the United Nations and the African Union are implementing within the framework of the Amnesty Month which consists of encouraging populations that are owning weapons illegally to make sure that they comply and come forward to surrender those weapons with the government." He said the African Amnesty Month was an African Union resolution and not only specific to Cameroon as other countries are participating in the effort. He disclosed that from Cameroon, he will be "travelling to other countries to give them encouragement that they need to continue the work in terms of reducing the illicit flows of weapons on the continent." UN reports say there are over 100 million illicit weapons circulating in Africa due mostly to the porous nature of borders between countries.

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