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Daily Update: Friday 16 May

Reconvening of the Meeting

The meeting of the Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention was reconvened by its Co-Chairs, Ambassador Wolfgang Petritsch of Austria and Mr. Gustavo Laurie of Peru, with the support of its Co-Rapporteurs, Ms. Socorro Rovirosa Priego of Mexico and Mr. Alexander Verbeek of the Netherlands.

Matters pertaining to the general operations of the Convention

Ambassador Jean Lint of Belgium, in his capacity as Chair of the Coordinating Committee, provided an update PDF 51KB on the activities of the Coordinating Committee. The Director of the GICHD, Ambassador Martin Dahinden, and the Manager of the Implementation Support Unit (ISU), Mr. Kerry Brinkert, provided an update PDF 122KB on the work of the ISU. Australia and Canada announced new funding commitments for the ISU. Croatia, Ecuador, South Africa and the Co-Chairs spoke to express their appreciation for the assistance provided by the ISU. The Coordinator of the Sponsorship Programme, Mr. John Wattam of the United Kingdom, provided an update PDF 64KB on the Programme's achievements and noted that recent contributions had been received from Australia, Canada, Denmark, and the United Kingdom.

Article 7 Reporting

Ambassador Lint, the Coordinator of the Article 7 Contact Group, provided an update PDF 64KB of the status of reporting in accordance with Article 7 of the Convention. The UN Department for Disarmament Affairs urged States Parties to submit their reports electronically to the following address: mbc_article7@un.org. Algeria, Argentina and Comoros all indicated that they had recently submitted reports. Afghanistan, Angola, Timor Leste; New Zealand, South Africa and the ICBL PDF 62KB also contributed to the discussion.

Updates by Contact Group Coordinators

Canada provided an update PDF 67KB on the work of the Universalization Contact Group. Norway did the same with respect to the Resource Mobilization Contact Group.

Preparations for the Fifth Meeting of the States Parties

The meeting reviewed a revised draft programme for the Fifth Meeting of the States Parties (5MSP). Thailand provided an update PDF 1.5MB on its preparations for the 5MSP and distributed a document containing important information on logistics and administrative arrangements for the meeting. The UN Department for Disarmament Affairs reported that the UN Secretary General had sent official notification of the 5MSP to all permanent missions in New York. All States Parties were urged to promptly pay their initial assessments for the meeting. The Co-Chairs provided an update on their consultations to provide to the States Parties a list of prospective new Co-Rapporteurs to serve during the 2003-2004 Intersessional period.

In the context of preparations for the 5MSP, Peru Spanish PDF 54KB and Angola announced that regional workshops would take place in advance of the Fifth Meeting, Ecuador announced its intention to host one prior to the First Review Conference, and Croatia put forward its offer to host the first Meeting of the States Parties to take place after the Review Conference.

Article 1

An opportunity was provided for States Parties to share information in an informal and voluntary manner on their national experiences with the implementation of Article 1. The ICBL PDF 76KB, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Angola and the ICRC PDF 49KB participated in this discussion.

Article 2

An opportunity was provided for States Parties to share information in an informal and voluntary manner on their national experiences with the implementation of Article 2. Croatia, the ICBL PDF 81KB, the ICRC PDF 44KB and Mexico participated in this discussion.

Addressing the humanitarian impact of mines that may pose similar risks to civilians populations as anti-personnel mines

An opportunity was provided for a discussion on steps taken, and possible approaches, to reduce the humanitarian impact of mines that may pose similar risks to civilian populations as AP mines. The ICRC PDF 46KB, the ICBL, France, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Japan, and Norway participated in this discussion.

Article 3

An opportunity was provided for States Parties to share information in an informal and voluntary manner on their national experiences with the implementation of Article 3. New Zealand, Norway, Austria PDF 35KB, Afghanistan, Belgium, the ICBL PDF 67KB, Sweden PDF 32KB, the United Kingdom, Ecuador and Algeria participated in this discussion.

Update on the dialogue related to the facilitation and clarification of compliance

Canada indicated that it is prepared to host further discussions in the context of the ongoing dialogue related to the facilitation and clarification of compliance and that it had invited interested States Parties to bring to Canada's attention any matter that it thought would be a useful topic for discussion. Canada reported that since the last meeting of the Standing Committee no State Party had come forward with a suggestion for a discussion topic.

Matters pertaining to compliance concerns

The Co-Chairs noted that as was the case with the Co-Chairs in 2001-2002, they had provided an opportunity for informal discussions on any matter related to compliance concerns. The ICBL PDF 70KB made a statement on this matter.

Article 9

An opportunity was provided for States Parties to share views with respect to efforts to establish legislative, administrative and other matters in accordance with Article 9 to prevent or sanction any activity prohibited by the Convention. The ICRC PDF 223KB, South Africa, the Afghan Campaign to Ban Landmines, Tanzania, the ICBL and the UN Department for Disarmament Affairs participated in this discussion.

Closing remarks

The President of the Fourth Meeting of the States Parties noted that during the 2002-2003 Intersessional period a priority had been placed on providing mine affected States Parties and those in the process of destroying stockpiles with sufficient opportunities to share information on their plans and needs for assistance. In this context, the President expressed his satisfaction that during the 12-16 May meetings so many States Parties had taken advantage of the opportunities provided to share their problems, plans, progress and priorities for assistance.

In his remarks to close the week of Standing Committee meetings, the Director of the GICHD PDF 117KB expressed his optimism that the Convention community could overcome any problems that have been identified, particularly regarding resource mobilization. The ICBL also made final remarks.