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General Status and Operation of the Convention

Monday 25 MAY

1. Opening of the meeting

The meeting was opened by its Co-Chairs, Yoshinobu Hiraishi of the Delegation of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament and Camilo Sanhueza of Chile. The Co-Chairs were supported by their Co-Rapporteurs, María del Carmen Vivar of Ecuador and Bostjan Jerman of Slovenia.

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.

2. Overview of the general status of implementation

The President of the Ninth Meeting of the States Parties, Ambassador Jürg Streuli of Switzerland, provided an overview of the general status of implementation of the Convention. In addition, the Czech Republic on behalf of the Member States of the European Union distributed a written statement of a general nature.

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3. The general status of universalization

3.1 Canada, in its capacity as Coordinator of the Universalization Contact Group, provided an update on the general status of universalization. In addition, the following other States Parties or other organizations provided updates on their efforts to promote universal acceptance of the Convention: Australia, Japan, Norway, Thailand, the ICBL, the ICRC and UNMAS on behalf of the United Nations Mine Action Team (UNMAT).

3.2 The following States not parties provided updates on steps they are taking toward accession to the Convention: the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia and Morocco.

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4. Article 7: Transparency and the exchange of information

4.1 Belgium, in its capacity as Coordinator of the Article 7 Contact Group, provide an update on the status of transparency reporting under Article 7 of the Convention. In addition, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) Geneva Branch, in its capacity as the official recipient of reports, provided an update.

4.2 Haiti informed the Standing Committee that it has submitted its initial transparency report (thus implying that there remain only three States Parties that have not provided an initial report as required. In addition, the following other States Parties and other delegations provided updates or shared views on transparency and the exchange of information: Moldova, the ICBL and UNMAS on behalf of UNMAT.

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5. Article 3: Mines retained and transferred for permitted reasons

5.1 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. In addition, the Co-Chairs introduced a document prepared on their behalf by the Convention’s Implementation Support Unit (ISU) containing the number of retained and transferred mines that the States Parties have reported since entry into force (Article 3 Table).

5.2 The following States Parties that have retained and / or transferred mines for permitted purposes provided updates: Australia, Croatia, El Salvador, Germany, Mauritania, Turkey and Zambia.

5.3 The following other delegations shared their views on mines retained and / or transferred for permitted purposes: Norway, Switzerland, the ICBL and the ICRC.

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6. Article 9: The development and adoption of legislative, administrative and other measures

6.1 The Co-Chairs recalled that in the 9MSP’s Geneva Progress Report, it was noted that “67 States Parties have not yet reported having adopted legislation in the context of Article 9 obligations or that they consider existing laws to be sufficient.” The ICRC provided an update on progress made in the application of Article 9 since the 9MSP.

6.2 The following delegations provided updates and / or shared their views on the implementation of Article 9 of the Convention: Chile, the ICBL and UNMAS on behalf of UNMAT.

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FRIDAY 29 MAY

7. Practical implementation of the various other provisions of the Convention

The Co-Chairs provided an opportunity for States Parties and others to provide updates or share views or experiences with respect to other aspects of the Convention not covered under other agenda items or by other Standing Committees.

7.1 An update on Article 1 of the Convention was provided by the ICBL.

7.2 Updates on Article 2 of the Convention were provided by the ICBL and the ICRC.

7.3 Updates on the practical implementation of measures preventing and suppressing prohibited activities and facilitating compliance were provided by: Colombia, the Philippines, South Africa, Switzerland and the ICBL.

7.5 Updates on the practical implementation of other provisions of the Convention not otherwise covered by this or other Standing Committees were  provided by: Chile, South Africa, Sudan, Turkey and the Czech Republic on behalf of the European Union. In addition, a joint statement was delivered by humanitarian mine action agencies

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8. Case studies in cooperation and assistance

At this meeting, the Co-Chairs decided to discuss cooperation and assistance in a focused manner with two particular case studies – the role of the United Nations system and advances made in linking mine action and development.

8.1 The Co-Chairs asked the United Nations Mine Action Team to prepare a presentation that addressed questions such as the following: (i) what assistance has flowed to and through the United Nations system since the First Review Conference; (ii) how has this benefited States Parties seeking assistance; and, (iii) what lessons have been learned to enhance cooperation and assistance involving the United Nations system following the Second Review Conference.

8.2 In addition, the Co-Chairs asked Canada in its capacity as Coordinator of the Linking Mine Action and Development Contact Group to deliver a presentation that addressed questions such as the following: (i) how have efforts since the First Review Conference to link mine action and development benefited States Parties that are in the process of implementing the Convention; and (ii) what more can be done following the Second Review Conference.

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9. Matters pertaining to the general operations of the Convention

The Co-Chairs provided an opportunity for updates and comments on the work of three implementation mechanisms. Updates were given on the Coordinating Committee by the 9MSP President and on the Implementation Support Unit (ISU) by the Director of the ISU. In addition, the Coordinator of the Sponsorship Programme, the United Kingdom, submitted its update in a written form.

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10. Updates by Contact Group Coordinators

10.1 The Contact Group Coordinators were given the opportunity to submit written updates on their work: Canada, Coordinator of the Universalization Contact Group, Norway, Coordinator of the Resource Utilisation Contact Group, Canada, Coordinator of the Linking Mine Action to Development Contact Group and Belgium, Coordinator of the Article 7 Contact Group.

10.2 In addition, Canada provided a brief update on the land release process and the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) recalled some important details concerning the First Preparatory Meeting in advance of the Second Review Conference.

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11. Closing remarks by the Co-Chairs

The Co-Chairs delivered their closing remarks.

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