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Mine Clearance

MONDAY 27 MAY - WEDNESDAY 29 MAY

1. Opening of the meeting

The meeting was opened by its Co-Chairs, Elias Zimba on Mozambique and Mark Versteden of the Netherlands. In opening the meeting, the Co-Chairs indicated that their task is to help facilitate further progress in implementing Article 5 and to contribute to an advancement of discussions on Article 5 implementation mandated by the 12MSP. The Co-Chairs expressed the hope that the meeting would contribute greatly to producing clarity regarding the magnitude of the challenge that remains and how much of this challenge could be addressed in time for the Third Review Conference.

2. Updates by States Parties that have completed implementation of Article 5 since the 12MSP

Venezuela announced that it had completed implementation of Article 5 of the Convention, becoming the 24th State Party to do so of the 59 that have reported mined areas. In order to comply with its Convention obligation to clear all mined areas, Venezuela had to destroy 1,073 anti-personnel mines emplaced in 13 mined areas around six naval posts. Venezuela used its own resources to carry out its mine clearance operations.

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 until 2015 provided updates: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, Eritrea and Yemen. The following State Party that has been granted an extension until 2016 provided an update: Mauritania. The ICBL and Italy provided comments with respect to some or all of these updates.

The Co-Chairs continued by calling upon the following additional States Parties that have been granted extensions until 2016: Senegal and Cyprus. The following States Parties that have been granted extensions until 2017 then provided updates: Peru, Algeria and Ecuador. In addition, the following State Parties that have been granted extensions until 2018 provided updates: Angola and Thailand. The ICBL and the ICRC provided comments on some or all of the updates, with some of the States Parties in question providing responses. In addition, Cyprus and Turkey exercised rights of reply.

The Co-Chairs continued by calling upon the following States Parties that have been granted extensions until 2019: Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the United Kingdom. The following State Party that has been granted an extension until 2020 then provided an update: Argentina. The ICBL and Slovenia provided comments on some or all of these updates, with one of the States Parties in question responding. In addition, Argentina and the United Kingdom exercised rights of reply.
2019 deadline

The Co-Chairs continued by calling upon the following additional States Parties that have been granted extensions until 2020: Cambodia, Chile and Tajikistan. The following State Party that has been an granted extension until 2021 then provided an update: Colombia. As well, the following State Party that has been granted an extension until 2023 then provided an update: Afghanistan. The ICBL provided comments on some or all of the updates, with some of the States Parties in question providing responses.

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4. Updates by States Parties that have submitted requests in 2013

The President of the 12MSP provided an update on the status of requests received and the analysis of them.

Chad presented highlights of its request. The following delegations commented or asked questions with respect to this request: the ICBL and the ICRC.  Germany presented highlights of its requests. The following delegations commented or asked questions with respect to this request: the ICBL and the ICRC. Germany replied to these comments.

Mozambique presented highlights of its requests. The following delegations commented or asked questions with respect to this request: the ICBL and the ICRC. Niger presented highlights of a request it anticipates submitting.  Serbia presented highlights of its requests. The following delegations commented or asked questions with respect to this request: the ICBL and the ICRC. Serbia replied to these comments.

Sudan presented highlights of its requests. The following delegations commented or asked questions with respect to this request: the Netherlands, the ICBL and the ICRC. Sudan replied to these comments. Turkey presented highlights of its requests. The following delegations commented or asked questions with respect to this request: the ICBL and the ICRC.

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

The following other States Parties in the process of implementing Article 5 within their original ten-year period following entry into force for each provided updates: Burundi, Bhutan and Iraq. In the course or its update, Bhutan announced that it had completed implementation of Article 5 of the Convention, becoming the 25th State Party to do so of the 59 that have reported mined areas.

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6. Updates by States Parties that have found mines or areas known or suspected to contain mines after the expiry of Article 5 deadlines

The following States Parties that have found mines or areas known or suspected to contain mines after the expiry of Article 5 deadlines provided updates: Hungary and Jordan. The following delegations provided comments on these updates and others that were made during the course of the meeting: the ICBL, Norway and Switzerland. Jordan responded to some of these comments.

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7. 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 GICHD provided an update on amendments to the UN’s International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) concerning land release. Belgium, in its capacity as Coordinator of the Article 7 Contact Group provided an update on reporting on mine clearance obligations. In addition, the following other delegations provided updates on shared views on various matters: European Union, Greece, Palau and the United Nations Mine Action Team.

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8. Closing remarks