UN helps West and Central African countries fight scourge of illicit weapons

Held by the Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa – part of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs – the gathering will assist countries’ efforts to implement the International Instrument to Enable States to Identify and Trace, in a Timely and Reliable Manner, Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons.Co-organized by Interpol, the workshop aims to identify actions States can take to adhere to the Instrument and familiarize government authorities with it.Some 60 participants are expected to attend the event, which is supported by the European Union as well as Japan and Norway.The meeting is part of a series targeted at promoting the Instrument and step up States’ capacity to put it into practice. 16 April 2008A two-day United Nations conference seeking to help West and Central African nations bolster their abilities to identify and trace illicit small arms and light weapons kicks off tomorrow in Lomé, Togo. read more

Netherlands to fund construction of 250 steel bridges in Sri Lanka

The Government has accorded high priority for connectivity improvement within the country with a view to providing full benefits to the remote villages from mainstream development activities in the country, the Ministry of Finance said. Accordingly, the Government is planning to construct 4000 bridges in rural areas to establish connectivity for transportation. The Rabobank of Netherlands has agreed to provide Euro 52.1 Million financial assistance to construct approximately 250 steel bridges island wide especially in the rural areas.S R Attygalle, Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs signed the Credit Facility Agreement today at the Ministry of Finance. A large number of lagging villages will be connected with transport facilities through this project which will in turn facilitate easy access to market, education and healthcare facilities to villagers.This project will be implemented by the Ministry of Provincial Councils, Local Governments and Sports. (Colombo Gazette) read more