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Mine Clearance

MONDAY 20 JUNE & THURSDAY 23 JUNE

1. Opening of the meeting

The meeting was opened by its Co-Chairs, Carlos Enrique Valencia Muñoz of Colombia and Reto Wollenmann of Switzerland. The Co-Chairs were supported by their Co-Rapporteurs from Indonesia and Zambia.

In opening the meeting, the Co-Chairs reported that during the week of 14-18 March they held bilateral meetings the margins of the UN’s International Meeting of National Mine Action Programme Directors, and, that on 18 March, they convened a one-day workshop for national demining directors / national focal points for Article 5 implementation.The goal of this workshop was to provide a constructive and enabling environment for States Parties in the process of implementing Article 5 to benefit from the experiences of their peers.

Also in opening the meeting, the Co-Chairs delivered a statement on the status of implementation of Article 5. They recalled that at the close of the 10MSP, 54 States Parties had at one time reported that they had been or were still required to fulfil their Article 5 obligations. Of these, 16 States Parties had reported that they had fulfilled their obligation to destroy or ensure the destruction of all anti-personnel mines in mined areas, with one State Party – Nicaragua – reporting completion at the 10MSP. And, at the close of the 10MSP, there were 38 States Parties that still needed to complete implementation of Article 5. Of these 38 States Parties there remained 1 State Party with a deadline in 2011, the Republic of Congo, which has not indicated if it will require an extension or if it will be in a position to declare completion.

2. Update by States Parties that have completed implementation of Article 5 since the 10MSP

Nigeria declared that it has ensured the destruction of all anti-personnel mines in areas under its jurisdiction or control in which anti-personnel mines were known or suspected to be emplaced, in accordance with Article 5 of the Convention.

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3. Updates by States Parties that have been granted extensions on deadlines for implementing Article 5

The Co-Chairs recalled that in the Cartagena Action Plan, it was agreed in Action #13 that the States Parties that have been granted an extension will report regularly on progress at meetings of this Standing Committee and at Meetings of the States Parties and Review Conferences. The following States Parties provided updates: Jordan, Tajikistan, Ecuador, Mauritania, Uganda, Argentina, Colombia, Chad, Thailand, Guinea Bissau, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Senegal, Venezuela, Peru, Denmark, Croatia, Zimbabwe, Yemen and the United Kingdom.

The Co-Chairs explained that two States Parties that had been granted extensions, Cambodia and Mozambique would provide comprehensive updates during the experimental session later in the week dedicated to focusing on national contexts and other ways to support the application of the Cartagena Action Plan.

In response to the updates by States Parties that have been granted extensions on deadlines for implementing Article 5, the ICBL provided comments and shared views.

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4. Updates by States Parties that have submitted Article 5 extension requests in 2011

The Co-Chairs noted that requests for extensions of Article 5 mine clearance deadlines had been submitted by from Algeria, Chile, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Eritrea, with these requests received between 31 March and 14 April.

The 10MSP President provided an update on the status of the requests received and the analysis of them. Algeria, Chile and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) made presentations on their requests. In response to Algeria’s presentation, the following delegations provided comments or shared views: ICBL, ICRC, Norway and Canada. In response to Chile’s presentation, the following delegations provided comments or shared views: Bolivia, ICBL, Mexico and the ICRC. In response to the DRC’s presentation, the following delegations provided comments or shared views: ICBL, ICRC and Norway. The following delegations provided remarks of a more general nature regarding the Article 5 extensions process: Switzerland, Norway, ICBL, UNMAS and Ukraine.

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5. Updates by other States Parties in the process of implementing Article 5

The following other States Parties in the process of implementing Article 5 provided updates: Congo, Afghanistan, Angola, Cyprus, Gambia, Burundi, Serbia, Sudan, Turkey, Bhutan and Iraq.

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6. What happens after completion?

The Co-Chairs recalled that at the Second Review Conference, the States Parties noted that they “have come to see the lessons derived from fulfilling Article 5 obligations are applicable in addressing related challenges associated with other explosive remnants of war. In many instances, the organizational structures, the capacities that have been built and the standards that have been established largely as a result of the need to implement Article 5 are also being applied to address weapons contamination more broadly.

Colonel (Ret’d) Carl Case of the Organization of American States (OAS) delivered a presentation shared the experiences of completion and what has come after this in the Americas.

Following Colonel Case’s presentation, the following delegations contributed to the discussion on this matter: ICBL Switzerland, Albania, Norway and Jordan.

7. Updates on other developments and initiatives

The Co-Chairs provided an opportunity for updates on other developments and initiatives in support of the mine clearance aspects of the Cartagena Action Plan. The following delegations took the floor: Sudan, Germany, Norway and Switzerland.

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8. Closing remarks

The Co-Chairs closed the plenary portion of the meeting of the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, delivering some summary remarks.

 


A focus on national contexts and other ways to support the application of the Cartagena Action Plan

The Co-Chairs recalled that, at the 10MSP, the States Parties requested the Coordinating Committee to allocate time during the week of meetings for Co-Chairs and others to experiment with new ways to more intensively focus on national contexts or to otherwise support progress in the application of the Cartagena Action Plan. Pursuant to this decision, the Co-Chairs of the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies  organized two small group discussions that were intended to focus on and assist two States Parties – Cambodia and Mozambique – in applying the mine clearance aspects of the Cartagena Action Plan.

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