UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] on Friday urged [statement] Central African nations to adopt a legally binding instrument to combat illicit arms trafficking. Ban noted that there is a strong correlation [UN News Centre report] between arms trafficking and illicit activities, "[y]et Central Africa remains one of the few African subregions without a legally binding instrument to combat the phenomenon." Ban also stated that adopting such a document would be "a milestone step that would help to reduce violence and bring undeniable peace and security dividends to your States."
Arms trafficking has slowed progress towards goals of peace the Central Africa subregion. In March, UN officials warned [UN News Centre report] that arms trafficking was interfering with developments in security and justice by increasing cross-border crime. Also in March, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) [official website] reported [UNODC report] that Africa is the most profitable market and suffers the most casualties as a result of the global illicit arms trade market, which is worth $200-$300 million annually.