The opening of the Fifth Meeting was preceded by a ceremony which featured the participation of Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana Krom Luang Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra of Thailand, Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium PDF 1MB and His Excellency, Deputy Prime Minister General Chavalit Yongjaiyudh of Thailand.
The meeting was opened by the President of the Fourth Meeting of the States Parties, Ambassador Jean Lint of Belgium. After delivering his final speech PDF 104KB, Ambassador Lint presided of the election of His Excellency Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai PDF 97KB, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, as President of the Fifth Meeting.
A message to the meeting from United Nations Secretary-General PDF 252KB was delivered by Mr. Kim Hak Su, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. In addition, a statement on behalf of ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger was read Professor Daniel Thürer PDF 522KB, Vice-President of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate Jody Williams PDF 92KB addressed the meeting.
The meeting approved procedural documents, including an agenda, programme of work, rules of procedure and cost estimates.
Austria, Belgium, Colombia, France, Kenya, Peru, Romania and Switzerland - the eight outgoing Co-Chairs of the Standing Committees established by the States Parties - were elected Vice-Presidents of the Fifth Meeting.
Major General Gitti Suksomstarn, Director-General of the Thailand Mine Action Centre and Ms. Atchara Suyanan, Director-General of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of International Organizations were confirmed as the meeting's Co-Secretaries-General. In addition, the meeting was informed that the United Nations Secretary General had appointed Mr. Enrique Roman-Morey, Director of the UN Department of Disarmament Affairs branch in Geneva, Executive Secretary of this meeting and that the President had requested that Mr. Kerry Brinkert, Manager of the Implementation Support Unit, to serve as the President's Executive Coordinator.
The President opened the General Exchange of Views, with the following States Parties speaking: