UNODC participates in preparatory meeting of the ZOPACAS in Brasília
07 December, 2010 - Representatives of member countries of the Zone of Peace and Cooperation of the South Atlantic (ZOPACAS) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for Brazil and the Southern Cone met this week at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, during the Round Table of Brasilia. The meeting, which also included the participation of the International Seabed Authority and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, aimed to exchange experiences and identify areas of cooperation, in preparation for the next ZOPACAS Ministerial Meeting in 2011.
During the two-day meeting, representatives of the group, consisting of 24 countries in Africa and South America, bordering the South Atlantic, discussed issues such as the Mapping and Exploration of Seabed, Environmental Cooperation and Air, Ports and Shipping Cooperation . The UNODC Regional Representative for Brazil and the Southern Cone, Bo Mathiasen, participated in the Roundtable on Security: Defense, Maritime Safety and Combating transnational crime.
The ZOPACAS was established in 1986 by countries in South America and in Africa sharing the South Atlantic Ocean as a platform for understanding and regional cooperation. Since then, every two years, the objectives of the ZOPACAS have been endorsed by resolutions of the UN General Assembly.
In July last year, the Permanent Committee of the ZOPACAS proposed in a "concept paper" four major areas of action for the revitalization of the Zone of Peace: Mapping and Exploring the seabed, Environmental Cooperation (oceanography, fisheries, and others), security (defense, maritime safety and cooperation in combating transnational crimes) and transport (air, ports and shipping).