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Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration

Tuesday 26 MAY

1. Opening of the meeting

The meeting was opened by its Co-Chairs, Michel Peetermans of Belgium and Netty Praditsarn of Thailand. The Co-Chairs were supported by their Co-Rapporteurs, Giancarlo Leon of Peru and Esgel Etensel of Turkey.

In opening the meeting, the Co-Chairs noted their principle aim is to build on the Nairobi Action Plan and other understandings adopted by the States Parties in 2004, and the priorities contained in the Geneva Progress Report as a basis to further advance the gains made since 2005 in relation to victim assistance, specifically focusing on three main areas:

  • promoting implementation of the Convention and progress in achieving the aims of the Nairobi Action Plan;
  • monitoring and reporting progress; and
  • victim assistance beyond the Second Review Conference. 

2. Overview of the general status of implementation of the Convention in relation to victim assistance

The Co-Chairs provided an overview of the general status of implementation of the Convention in relation to victim assistance.

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3. Updates by States Parties that are responsible for the well-being of significant numbers of landmine survivors.

3.1 The Co-Chairs recalled that the Geneva Progress Report noted that “progress in victim assistance should be specific, measurable and time-bound, with specific measures logically needing to be determined by individual States Parties based on their very diverse circumstances.” In addition, the Geneva Progress Report called on relevant States Parties to “provide an unambiguous assessment of how progress with respect to victim assistance as concerns their States could be measured by the time of the Second Review Conference in 2009.”

In this context, the Co-Chairs provided an opportunity for updates from States Parties that have indicated that they hold responsibility to provide for the well-being of significant numbers of landmine survivors. The following States Parties provided updates: Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Burundi, Cambodia, Chad, Colombia, El Salvador, Jordan, Mozambique, Peru, Senegal, Serbia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uganda and Yemen.

3.2 One delegation provided a response to these updates: ICBL.

3.3. In addition, one additional State Party provided an update on its efforts to assist survivors under its jurisdiction or control: Chile.

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4. Cooperation and assistance in the care, rehabilitation and social and economic reintegration of landmine survivors

The Co-Chairs recalled that States Parties in a position to do so to agreed in the Nairobi Action Plan to “act upon their obligation under Article 6 (3) to promptly assist those States Parties with clearly demonstrated needs for external support for care, rehabilitation and reintegration of mine victims, responding to priorities for assistance as articulated by those States Parties in need and ensuring continuity and sustainability of resource commitments.”

The Co-Chairs further recalled that the States Parties have noted the importance of an approach to cooperation on victim assistance involving: (a) assistance provided by or through specialised organisations in which assistance specifically targets landmine survivors and other war wounded, and, (b) assistance in the form of integrated approaches in which development cooperation aims to address the rights and needs of persons with disabilities. In addition, they recalled that while some States have provided information on efforts regarding the former, very little was provided regarding efforts that will ultimately benefit landmine survivors through integrated development cooperation.

The Co-Chairs informed the Standing Committee that they had distributed a questionnaire to donors to assist in compiling information in preparation for the Second Review Conference on how, through bilateral development assistance, States and the European Commission have acted in such a way that may ultimately benefit landmine survivors.

In addition, the Co-Chairs provided an opportunity for updates from States Parties and organisations involved in efforts to assist survivors. The following delegations provided an updates: Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and UNMAS on behalf of the UN Mine Action Team (UNMAT).

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5. Updates on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Co-Chairs provided an opportunity for updates on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Updates were provided by the following: Jordan and Survivor Corps.

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Friday 29 MAY

6. Update on the activities of victim assistance experts.

6.1 The Co-Chairs recalled that in keeping with Actions #38 and #39 of the Nairobi Action Plan, which calls on States Parties and relevant organization to continue to ensure effective integration of mine victims in the work of the Convention and an effective contribution in all relevant deliberations by health, rehabilitation and social services professionals, at least 14 States Parties included relevant victim assistance specialists in their delegations to these meetings of the Standing Committees. In order to make the best possible use of the time dedicated by such professionals to the work of the Convention, a week-long series of activities were prepared for the representatives. A report on these activities was presented to the meeting.

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7. Towards the Second Review Conference and Beyond

7.1  The Co-Chairs reported on discussions that had taken place during the Victim Assistance Retreat and the Parallel Programme to take stock of what has been accomplished since the First Review Conference and the challenges and priorities for the period after 2009. The outcomes of the discussions were incorporated into the Co-Chairs paper on Priorities and Challenges for the Period 2010-2014 which was later presented to the First Preparatory Meeting for the Second Review Conference. In addition, the Co-Chairs provided the opportunity for an exchange of views on goals to be achieved by the Second Review Conference and priorities for the period 2010-2014: Thailand, ICBL, ICRC, Japan and Handicap International-Belgium.

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8.  Closing remarks

8.1 Prior to closing the meeting, the Co-Chairs delivered closing remarks.