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Victim Assistance

WEDNESDAY 23 MAY – THURSDAY 24 MAY

1. Opening of the meeting

The meeting was opened by its Co-Chairs, Hamza Khelif of Algeria and Danijela Zunec of Croatia. The Co-Chairs were supported by their Rapporteur, Carlos Enrique Valencia of Colombia.

2. Updates from relevant States Parties on challenges and work that remains in applying the victim assistance aspects of the Cartagena Action Plan at the national level

The following States Parties that have indicated that they hold the responsibility to provide for the well-being of significant numbers of landmine survivors provided updates on challenges and work that remains in applying the victim assistance aspects of the Cartagena Action Plan at the national level:  Afghanistan, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Sudan, Peru, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Senegal, Mozambique, Serbia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Chad, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Croatia and Eritrea.

The following delegations commented on or asked questions with respect to various updates: the ICBL and Mexico.

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3. Updates from and views of other States Parties and other actors on efforts to apply the victim assistance aspects of the Cartagena Action Plan

The following delegations provided updates or shared views on efforts to assist the victims: Chile, the Philippines, Ecuador, Austria, the GICHD, Algeria, the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, Morocco and Australia.

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4. Making a difference on the ground: monitoring progress and evaluating the impact of victim assistance efforts

The Co-Chairs recalled that at the Cartagena Summit, the States Parties recognised “that the real promise of the Convention is to make a difference on the ground, in the lives of survivors, the families of those killed or injured, and their communities.” The further recalled that, while the States Parties have developed a rich set of understandings regarding what “victim assistance” means to them, “a persistent challenge remains in translating increased understanding on victim assistance into tangible improvements in the quality of daily life of mine victims.” Given the “real promise of the Convention” and the “persistent challenge” recorded in Cartagena, the Co-Chairs invited delegations to engage in a discussion on how the Convention community can fulfil its promise to survivors and victims.

Experts from the ICBL, Margaret Arach Orech and Elke Hottentot delivered presentations. This was followed by views that were shared by the Director of the ISU, Uganda, disability consultant Sheree Bailey, Cambodia, Austria, Colombia and the ICBL.

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5. Closing remarks

The Co-Chairs closed the meeting by recalling that the time is now to take mid-terms stock of the application of the Cartagena Action Plan and that doing so requires that victim assistance efforts be measurable. The Co-Chairs committed to prepare a mid-term review on victim assistance to present to the 12MSP. They indicated that they will distribute questionnaires to affected States Parties to obtain the information necessary to produce such an assessment.