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Mine Clearance

MONDAY 21 MAY - WEDNESDAY 23 MAY

1. Opening of the meeting

The meeting was opened by its Co-Chairs, Nina Djajaprawira of Indonesia and Catherine Lishomwa of Zambia. The Co-Chairs were supported by their Rapporteur, Pieter Van Donkersgoed of the Netherlands.

2. Updates by States Parties that have completed implementation of Article 5 since the 11MSP

The Co-Chairs recalled that, earlier in 2012, the National Director of Guinea-Bissau’s humanitarian demining programme announced that Guinea-Bissau had completed implementation of Article 5 and that, more recently, Jordan had done the same.

Jordan provided an update on its efforts to complete implementation of Article 5. This was followed by remarks that were shared by the following delegations: the ICBL and the ICRC.

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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, the States Parties agreed in Action #13 that the States Parties that have been granted an extension will report regularly on progress at meetings of the Standing Committees and at Meetings of the States Parties and Review Conferences.

The following States Parties that have been granted extensions on deadlines provided updates: Denmark, Uganda, Venezuela, Senegal, Mauritania, Peru, Algeria, Ecuador, Croatia, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Thailand, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chad, United Kingdom, Argentina, Cambodia, Chile, Tajikistan and Colombia.

The following delegations commented on or asked questions with respect to various updates: the ICBL, the ICRC, Cambodia, Switzerland, Norway, Canada and South Africa.

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4. Article 5 extension process

The Co-Chairs recalled that the 11MSP noted that the Article 5 extension request process places a heavy burden on the representatives of those States Parties that are mandated to analyse the requests. The Co-Chairs further recalled that, in this context, the 11MSP recommended that those States Parties mandated to analyse requests in 2012 reflect on the process to date with a view to identifying efficient methods to ensure that high quality requests and analyses are prepared and with a view to recommendations on this matter being submitted for consideration at the 12MSP.

The President of the 11MSP provided an update on the analysing group’s reflection on the process to date. The following delegations then shared their views: Norway, Australia, the ICBL, Ecuador and the ICRC.

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5. Updates by States Parties that have submitted requests in 2012

The President of the 11MSP provided an update on the status of requests received and on the status of requests received and the analysis of them, noting that requests were received from Afghanistan, Angola, Cyprus and Zimbabwe.

Afghanistan presented highlights of its requests. The following delegations commented or asked questions with respect to this request: the ICBL, the ICRC and the UN Mine Action Team.

Angola presented highlights of its requests. The following delegations commented or asked questions with respect to this request: the ICBL and the ICRC.

Cyprus presented highlights of its requests. The following delegations commented or asked questions with respect to this request:  the ICBL and Turkey.

Zimbabwe presented highlights of its requests. The following delegation commented or asked questions with respect to this request: the ICBL.

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6. The discovery of mined areas after the expiry of Article 5 deadlines

The Co-Chairs recalled that the 11MSP noted that the Convention is silent on how to address situations where States Parties, which have never reported Article 5 obligations, discover previously unknown mined areas. The Co-Chairs also recalled that the 11MSP further noted a need to develop a rational response to such situations which is firmly anchored in the object and purpose of the Convention and which does not undermine the legal obligations to destroy all anti-personnel mines in mined areas as soon as possible.

The Co-Chairs further recalled that the 11MSP requested that the 11MSP President, supported by the Coordinating Committee, consult with all relevant stakeholders to prepare a constructive discussion on this matter at the May 2012 meetings of the Standing Committees with a view to recommendations on this matter being submitted for consideration at the 12MSP. The Co-Chairs informed the Standing Committee and that they had been asked to support the President on this matter and had done so in part by preparing a discussion paper.

  • Mined areas discovered after the expiry of a State Party’s Article 5 deadline PDF 62K

Following the Co-Chairs’ presentation of their discussion paper, the following delegations shared views: Australia, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, ICRC, Indonesia, Zambia, the ICBL and Nigeria.

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

The following States Parties with mine clearance deadlines in 2014 provided updates: Burundi, Serbia, Sudan and Turkey.

The following States Parties with mine clearance deadlines in 2015 and beyond provided updates: Ethiopia and Iraq.

The States Parties that have discovered mined areas after the expiry of their Article 5 deadlines are Germany, Hungary and Niger.

The following delegations commented on or asked questions with respect to various updates: the ICBL, Switzerland, the UN Mine Action Team, Australia, the ICRC and Mexico.

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8. Updates on other developments and initiatives in support of the application of the mine clearance aspects of the Cartagena Action Plan

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 delegation took the floor: Afghanistan.

9. Closing remarks

The Co-Chairs closed the meeting by noting that while more clarity had been provided by States Parties on their clearance obligations, the States Parties have some distance to go to seeing that all fulfill Convention obligations and Cartagena Summit commitments by reporting on all areas known or suspected to contain anti-personnel mines.

The Co-Chairs also reminded delegates that the work of the Convention ultimately is all about ensuring that there are no new victims and recalled that all States Parties have made a solemn promise to those whom have fallen victim to mines. They noted that one of the most creative ways that this matter has been brought to international over the past year has been through the internationalization of the “lend-your-leg for a mine-free world” campaign, which was initiated by Juan Pablo Salazar of Colombia. The Co-Chairs gave the final word to Mr. Salazar, whose remarks were followed by a video

  • Lend-your-leg video