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GS: Summary and Statements

MONDAY 21 JUNE & FRIDAY 25 JUNE

1. Opening of the meeting

The meeting was opened by its Co-Chairs, María del Carmen Vivar of Ecuador and Bostjan Jerman of Slovenia, and our Co-Rapporteurs. The Co-Chairs were supported by their Co-Rapporteurs, Colonel John MacBride of Canada and Netty Praditsarn of Thailand.

In opening the meeting, the Co-Chairs highlighted that they had developed a programme covering four areas of work: (i) an overall assessment of the status of the pursuit of the Convention’s core aims; (ii) discussions on matters of cross-cutting interest to all Standing Committees; (iii) ongoing consideration of the implementation of various articles of the Convention which have traditionally been discussed by this Standing Committee; and, (iv) updates on the work of various implementation mechanisms.

In addition, the Co-Chairs reminded delegations that they are proceeding, in keeping with past practice, in undertaking the task of consulting with a view to identifying a list of nominees to serve as Co-Rapporteurs following the Second Review Conference.

  • Letter from Co-Chairs regarding new Co-Rapporteurs PDF 87KB

2. Overview of the general status of implementation

The President of the Second Review Conference, Ambassador Susan Eckey of Norway, provided an overview of the general status of implementation of the Convention.

  • Statement by the President of the Second Review Conference PDF 78KB

3. Evaluation of the Implementation Support Unit

The Co-Chairs recalled that one of the most important decisions that taken at the Second Review Conference was to mandate a task force that will be responsible for an independent evaluation of the ISU and for presenting recommendations on the future of the ISU to the States Parties. In taking this decision, it was also agreed that the task force will present a preliminary status report to this meeting. In this context, the Co-Chairs called upon the Chair of the task force overseeing the evaluation of the Implementation Support Unit, Ambassador Susan Eckey of Norway, to provide an update on the work of the Task Force.

  • Statement by the Chair of the ISU Evaluation Task Force PDF 67KB

Following the Chair’s update the following States Parties shared their views on this matter:

  • Australia PDF 10KB
  • Jordan
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Turkey
  • Canada
  • Argentina

4. Activities and finances of the Implementation Support Unit

The Director of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit, Mr. Kerry Brinkert, provided an update on the activities and finances of the ISU.

Following the Director’s update, the following States Parties shared their views on this matter:

  • Slovenia
  • Germany
  • Chile
  • Canada
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

5. The general status of universalization

The Co-Chairs recalled that while there are now 156 States Parties to the Convention and while most States not parties are adhering to the Convention’s norms, at the Second Review Conference it was recorded that “attracting further adherents to the Convention has grown more difficult in recent years implying that future efforts to promote acceptance of the Convention and its norms will require intensive effort at as high a level as possible.”

The Co-Chairs also recalled that earlier this year the President of the Second Review Conference wrote to all States Parties to inform them them that she has appointed His Royal Highness Prince Mired Raad Al Hussein of Jordan as “the President’s Special Envoy on the Universalization of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.”

The Co-Chairs called upon the Universalization Contact Group Coordinator, Canada, and the President’s Special Envoy, to provide updates.

  • Statement by the Coordinator of the Universalization Contact Group, Canada
  • Statement by the President’s Special Envoy on the Universalization of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, His Royal Highness Prince Mired Raad Al Hussein of Jordan PDF 27KB

Following these updates, the following States not parties shared information on steps they are taking toward ratification or accession:

In addition, the following States Parties and organizations shared views or provided updates on universalization:

6. Article 7 - Transparency and the exchange of information

The Co-Chairs recalled that at the Second Review Conference the States Parties agreed that renewed attention should be given to the ongoing fulfilment of transparency obligations and that effective informal exchange will be equally critical, adopting over 15 actions in the Cartagena Action Plan that refer to either formal or informal exchanges of information.

To provide an overview of transparency and the exchange of information, the Co-Chairs called upon the Coordinator of the Article 7 Contact Group Coordinator, Belgium.

  • Statement by the Coordinator of the Article 7 Contact Group, Belgium PDF 18KB

Following this update, the following provided updates or shared views:

7. Article 3 - Mines retained and transferred for permitted reasons

The Co-Chairs provided an opportunity for States Parties to provide updates on mines retained and / or transferred for reasons permitted under Article 3 of the Convention, noting that at the Second Review Conference the States Parties agreed to three action points related to this matter.

The following States Parties provided updates:

Following these updates, the following shared views:

8. Article 9 – The development and adoption of legislative, administrative and other measures

The Co-Chairs recalled that at the Second Review Conference, it was recorded that while there has been some progress since the 2004 Nairobi Summit in implementing Article 9, over 40 percent of the States Parties have not yet reported that they have legislation in place to give effect to the Convention. The ICRC was called upon to provide an update on this matter:

Following this update, the following delegations provided updates or shared views:

9. The practical implementation of the various other provisions of the Convention

The Co-Chairs provided an opportunity for updates or an exchange of views on the practical implementation of provisions of the Convention not otherwise covered by this Standing Committee or other Standing Committees. The following delegation took the floor:

10. Review of the Intersessional Work Programme

The Co-Chairs recalled that at the Second Review Conference, it was agreed that the Coordinating Committee would review the operation of the Intersessional Work Programme. The President of the Second Review Conference and Chair of the Coordinating Committee, Ambassador Susan Eckey of Norway, provided an update:

  • Statement by the Chair of the Coordinating Committee PDF 65KB

Following this update, the following delegations shared views:

  • ICRC
  • Turkey
  • Thailand
  • Belgium
  • Cambodia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • ICBL PDF 38KB
  • Austria
  • Canada

11. Preparations for the Tenth Meeting of the States Parties (10MSP)

The Co-Chairs recalled that it has been tradition that this Standing Committee serves as a forum for views to be shared on preparations for the next Meeting of the States Parties. The Co-Chairs further recalled that, with respect to the 10MSP, the Second Review Conference agreed to hold the 10MSP from November 29th to December 3rd 2010 in Geneva and to designate as President of the 10MSP His Excellency, Gazmend Turdiu, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania. The President-Designate presented his initial ideas and a draft agenda and programme for the 10MSP.

  • 10MSP initial ideas and draft programme PDF 38KB

The Co-Chairs concluded that it was their sense that the ideas proposed by the President-Designate, including the agenda and programme, were generally acceptable to the States Parties and could be considered for adoption by the States Parties at the beginning of the 10MSP.

The Co-Chairs also recalled that it has been tradition that, when meetings are held in Geneva, Switzerland designates a Secretary General of the Meeting of the States Parties to coordinate arrangements for the meeting’s opening ceremony and other side events as well as other efforts in support of the Meeting. They indicated that Switzerland has designated His Excellency, Ambassador Jürg Lauber as Secretary General of the 10MSP.

  • Statement by the Secretary-General-Designate of the 10MSP 

The Co-Chairs additionally recalled that it is tradition that the States Parties request that the UN Secretary General appoints an Executive Secretary of our formal meetings in order to oversee the UN’s servicing of the meeting. The indicated that Peter Kolorav of the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs would again serve in this capacity.  and I understand that he will do so again at the 10MSP. A statement concerning registration was read out on behalf of the Executive Secretary.

  • Statement by the Executive Secretary of the 10MSP PDF 15KB

12. Updates on other implementation mechanisms

The following delegations took the floor to provide updates on the activities of various informal implementation mechanisms:

  • United Kingdom (Coordinator of the Sponsorship Programme)
  • Belgium (Coordinator of the Article 7 Contact Group)
  • Canada (Coordinator of the Universalization Contact Group) PDF 14KB
  • GICHD (on Linking Mine Action and Development) PDF 104KB

13. Any other business

No delegation took the floor under any other business

14. Co-Chairs’ closing remarks

  • Statement by the Co-Chairs of the Standing Committee on the  General Status and Operation of the Convention