The meeting was opened by its Co-Chairs, Natapanu Nopakun of Thailand and Dorina Xhixho of Albania. In opening the meeting, the Co-Chairs expressed their strong desire that delegations use the meeting as an opportunity to discuss specific initiatives related to enhancing cooperation and assistance. They indicated that is time now to get past talking about generalities and to proceed with advancing the cooperation and assistance agenda and noted that this point was formally recognised by the 11MSP, which took note of and encouraged action on the concrete ideas suggested by the in-coming Co-Chairs and others to make the best possible use of this new Standing Committee.
The Co-Chairs recalled that in 2011 Thailand expressed to the Standing Committee that, while assistance in terms of financial support is very much needed, other types of assistance – such as technical know-how, sharing of best practices, the availability of expertise, the provision of equipment, et cetera – are also essential. The Co-Chairs further recalled that it had been suggested that the States Parties could explore establishing a mechanism to make information on these types of assistance available and to house contact information.
The Co-Chairs noted that they had convened a small group discussion on 24 May to explore this matter in detail and presented a summary of this discussion.
The following delegations shared views on this matter: the ICRC, the UN Mine Action Team, Algeria, Mexico, Belgium, Chad, Thailand, Canada and Uganda.
It was recalled that Thailand, as early as April 2009, had raised the idea that the States Parties should consider exploring options that will ensure the continuity of resources, such as the establishment of a trust fund. It was further recalled that, at the June 2011 inaugural meeting of the Standing Committee on Resources, Cooperation and Assistance, Thailand highlighted that it would welcome the further development of this idea, including through the preparation of a concept paper by the ISU.
The Director of the ISU presented the paper that the ISU was tasked to prepare by the Co-Chairs, noting that the purpose of the paper was to provide an overview of existing funding mechanisms and highlight options for States Parties to consider regarding the pros and cons of existing or possible new funding mechanisms.
The following delegations shared views on this matter: Thailand, Australia, Germany, the ICBL, Burundi, Japan, UNMAS, Algeria, Sudan, Ecuador, Italy, Nigeria, ITF Enhancing Human Security and Canada.
The Co-Chairs recalled both that a wide range of actors and not solely traditional donors are in position to provide assistance and that there is sometimes a need to demystify what assistance is available and how it may be obtained. The Co-Chairs introduced a panel representative of a cross section of actors in a position to provide assistance and asked each to explain what assistance is available, for whom and how it may be obtained. This panel included a donor – the European Union, a non-governmental demining organisation – the Danish Demining Group, and a national demining Authority – the Cambodian Mine Action Authority.
The following delegations then shared views on this matter: the European Union, Switzerland, Australia, Germany, the UN Mine Action Team, Colombia, Japan and Algeria.
The Co-Chairs expressed the view that the meeting had been a success as discussion on specific matters related to cooperation and assistance was indeed stimulated and extremely thoughtful and valuable input was provided. The Co-Chairs noted that their task is to digest all the contributions that were made in order to suggest how we might continue to make advances in this area. They indicated that they looked forward to working closely with all interested delegations on the topics that were on the agenda.