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Daily Update: Monday 12 May

Opening of the week of meetings

Ambassador Martin Dahinden, Director of the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, and Ambassador Jean Lint of Belgium, President of the Fourth Meeting of the States Parties, officially opened the week of Standing Committee meetings.

Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention

Opening of the Meeting

The meeting of the Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention was convened 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. As part of their opening comments, the Co-Chairs welcomed Timor Leste and Sao Tome and Principe as the States that have most recently acceded to the Convention.

Overview of the general status of implementation

Ambassador Jean Lint of Belgium, President of the Fourth Meeting of the States Parties, provided an update PDF 136KB on progress towards achievement of the Convention's core humanitarian aims, particularly in the context of the key elements contained in the Fourth Meeting of the States Parties' President's Action Programme. Ambassador Lint highlighted progress and challenges related to mine clearance, victim assistance, stockpile destruction and the universalization of the Convention, and noted a variety of recent actions taken to achieve common objectives. Following Ambassador Lint's presentation, Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate, Jody Williams of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines provided her assessment of the status of the Convention.

Overview of the general status of universalization

Canada, it its capacity as Coordinator of the Universalization Contact Group, provided a general overview of universalization activities and then introduced a Canadian parliamentarian, Ms. Paddy Torsney, who reported on the role of parliamentarians in promoting acceptance of the Convention and recent Convention-related activities within the Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting. Japan PDF 97KB, Landmine Action UK and Mines Action Canada also spoke regarding the valuable role of parliamentarians. In addition, Australia, Austria (on behalf of the Human Security Network), Japan PDF 97KB and the ICBL made statements on universalization. Five States not Parties to the Convention - Turkey, Greece, Lithuania, Indonesia PDF 39KB and Papua New Guinea - provided updates on their progress towards formal acceptance of the Convention, with some indicating that by the end of the week they may have deposited instruments of ratification / accession with the depository.

Mobilising resources to achieve the Convention's humanitarian aims

Norway, in its capacity as Coordinator of the Resource Mobilisation Contact Group, introduced a revised review PDF 208KB of resources to achieve the Convention's humanitarian aims. Norway then introduced a panel of speakers representing the United Nations PDF 132KB, the Organization of American States PDF 489KB and the World Bank - all of whom made presentations on the role of their respective organizations in mobilising resources for mine action. In the discussion that followed, Canada, Sweden, Peru, Colombia, Austria, Senegal, Honduras and the ICBL offered their views and directed questions to the panellists.