Intersessional Meetings 2023
The 2023 Intersessional Meetings are to take place from 19 to 21 June 2023 at the headquarters of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva with participation of hundreds of delegates representing States and international and non-governmental organisations which work towards a world free of anti-personnel mines.
Registration for the Intersessional Meetings
Register here by 9 June 2023
10:00 – 13:00
1. Opening of the Intersessional Meetings
H.E. Thomas Göbel, Permanent Representative of Germany to the Conference on Disarmament, and President of the Twenty-First Meeting of the States Parties (21MSP) and Ambassador Stefano Toscano, Director of the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, will deliver opening remarks.
2. Preliminary Observations of the Convention’s President and Committees
In accordance with their respective mandates, the President, the Committees(1) and a representative of the gender focal points will present the most prominent matters regarding their preliminary observations on the implementation of the Convention and the Oslo Action Plan (OAP). The Committees will also provide information on upcoming activities.
3. Matters related to the mandate of the Committee on Victim Assistance
During this agenda item, the Committee will present its activities since the Twentieth Meeting of the States Parties (20MSP) and reflections on the implementation by States Parties of their victim assistance commitments under the OAP (Actions 33 to 41).
The Committee will invite States Parties implementing victim assistance commitments(2) to offer updates on their efforts and challenges faced in the implementation of their commitments under the OAP. The Committee will then open the floor to any other States Parties or organization that wishes to take the floor on matters related to victim assistance.
4. Matters related to the mandate of the Committee on Article 5 Implementation
During this agenda item, the Committee will present its activities since the 20MSP and reflections on the implementation by States Parties of OAP actions related to survey and clearance of mined areas and mine risk education and reduction (Actions 18 to 32).
In line with the decisions of the 20MSP, the Committee will also provide information on its efforts to continue strengthening the Article 5 extension request process and the adherence to the relevant actions of the OAP.
Following the presentation of the Committee’s activities, the floor will be granted to delegations as follows:
- States Parties that have indicated that they have or will be required to submit requests for extension of their Article 5 deadlines for consideration by the 21MSP (Eritrea and Ukraine) will be invited to offer informal presentations of their requests.
- States Parties that have been requested to submit updated work plans in accordance with decisions on their requests for extension will be invited to provide an overview of their updated work plans (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Niger, Nigeria, Mauritania, Senegal, Somalia, Tajikistan and Türkiye);
- Other States Parties implementing Article 5 will be invited to present on their progress in meetings their deadlines;
- States Parties and organisations wishing to engage with the Committee’s preliminary observations will be invited to take the floor.
13:00 - 15:00 Lunch Break / Side Events
15:00 - 18:00
4. Matters related to the mandate of the Committee on Article 5 Implementation (continued)
5. Matters related to the mandate of the Committee on the Enhancement of Cooperation and Assistance
During this agenda item, the Committee will present its activities since the 20MSP and reflections on the implementation by States Parties of the cooperation and assistance commitments under the OAP (Actions 42 to 47).
The Committee will invite States Parties to offer updates on their efforts and challenges on matters related to Cooperation and Assistance.
18:00 End of the first day
(1) Committee on Article 5 Implementation (France (Chair), Colombia, Iraq, Sweden) , Committee on Victim Assistance (Uganda (Chair), Italy, Slovenia, Zambia), Committee on the Enhancement of Cooperation and Assistance (Thailand (Chair), Algeria, Japan, the Netherlands), Committee on Cooperative Compliance (Germany (Chair), Norway, South Africa, Switzerland, Türkiye).
(2) Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Jordan, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, State of Palestine, Peru, Senegal, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Türkiye, Uganda, Ukraine, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
10:00 – 11:00
The Convention and the threat of improvised anti-personnel mines
Action 21 of the OAP highlights that “States Parties affected by anti-personnel mines of an improvised nature will ensure that they apply all provisions and obligations under the Convention to such contamination as they do for all other types of anti-personnel mines, including during survey and clearance in fulfilment of Article 5 and disaggregate by types of mines when reporting in fulfilment of Article 7 obligations.”
The use of improvised anti-personnel mines is not a new phenomenon. Nonetheless, the scale of their use and the armed non-state actors employing these weapons has evolved over time along with the increased number of casualties associated with their use. On the one hand, their use has compounded the efforts of mine affected countries to reach Article 5 completion while in other cases their use has led to once “mine-free” States Parties having acquired obligations under the Convention. What is clear is that the use of improvised anti-personnel mines and addressing their humanitarian impact within the framework of the Convention will continue to pose a challenge to the objective of the Convention of “putting an end to the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel mines.”
The thematic discussion will focus on the legal obligations under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention of States Parties affected by improvised anti-personnel mines, what we know about the current threat posed by improvised anti-personnel mines in States Parties, challenges in addressing their humanitarian impact and lessons learned.
11:30 – 13:00
Victim Assistance and the Oslo Action Plan: Are we on track i providing mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS)?
Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) is one of the pillars of Victim Assistance in the framework of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. Action 38 of the Oslo Action Plan commits States Parties to, amongst other ensuring access to psychological and psychosocial support services including through peer-to-peer support programs. In 2022, 16 of the 36 States Parties with Victim Assistance responsibilities, reported on availability of psychological and psychosocial support in areas under their jurisdiction or control. In broader terms, MHPSS is often an “after-thought” in conflict settings and, largely due to the invisibility of trauma, is often overlooked. In 2023, the Committee on Victim Assistance is focusing its efforts on MHPSS including by providing opportunities to the States Parties with Victim Assistance obligations to address challenges faced in MHPSS in affected communities.
The discussion will examine what we have learned in the past years concerning the importance of MHPSS and approaches to the delivery of this critical element of Victim Assistance and how far the States Parties have come to meet mental health and psychosocial needs of mine victims since the adoption of the OAP.
13:00 Lunch Break & Cross-cutting priorities of the Presidency (sandwiches and coffee will be provided to participants)
13:30 – 14:15
Cross-cutting priorities of the Presidency: Green Implementation: Integrating Environmental Considerations in the Convention’s implementation
Implementation of the provisions of the Convention, including implementation of Article 5, is critical for reducing the impact of landmines and explosive remnants of war on affected communities. These efforts can have both a positive and a negative impact on the environment. While the Convention requests States Parties to provide information on the environmental standards employed in the destruction of anti-personnel mines, the topic of the environment has not received proper attention. In recent years, States and the humanitarian sector have increased their attention on how to best ensure the integration of environmental considerations into their implementation efforts. What is clear is that by promoting the concept of “green implementation,” we can ensure that efforts are not only effective in reducing the impact of anti-personnel mines and explosive remnants of war but are also sustainable and environmentally responsible.
This thematic session will explore the concept of "green implementation" and the importance of integrating environmental considerations into implementation efforts. The panel will share examples of efforts and lessons learned in minimizing the environmental impact and the 4 potential benefits of green implementation, including the enhanced resilience of affected communities to climate change. With the Fifth Review Conference to take place in 2024, the panel discussion provides a unique opportunity for the States Parties to consider the place of the Environment in the next Action Plan.
14:15 – 15:00
Cross-cutting priorities of the Presidency: Gender and the diverse needs of mine affected communities – lessons learnt and way ahead
The Oslo Action Plan commits States to ensure that the different needs and perspectives of women, girls, boys, and men are considered and inform all areas of Convention implementation and mine action programmes, in order to deliver an inclusive approach, including through striving to remove barriers to full, equal and gender balanced participation in mine action and in Convention meetings. While increased attention has been given to this matter and a number of States Parties have adopted measure to integrate gender and diverse needs of mine affected communities into their implementation efforts, significant gaps remain both in the implementation of this commitment and in reporting on efforts in this regard.
This thematic session will discuss progress as well as challenges in the implementation of gender-related actions since the Fourth Review Conference. States Parties will be invited to reflect on lessons learned and areas for improvement. This session will also provide an opportunity for States Parties to begin consideration of possible commitments and enabling actions to support gender mainstreaming in the next action plan, to be adopted by the States Parties at the Fifth Review Conference in 2024.
15:00 – 16:15
Finishing Strong - Preparing for completion as soon as possible
The completion of a State Party’s obligations under Article 5 is a critical milestone in reaching the desire of the States Parties to “put an end to the suffering and casualties caused by antipersonnel mine”. One overall important lesson that can be drawn from States that have declared completion is that preparing for completion well ahead of this milestone by ensuring that an adequate mechanism to address to the discovery of previously unknown or newly mined areas is in place is critical. In this regard, the OAP commits States Parties to ensure that provisions are made for the establishment of a sustainable national capacity to address previously unknown mine areas, including newly mined areas discovered following completion (Action 26) and encourages the building of a national capacity to deliver mine risk education and reduction programs to affected community (Action 31). In addition to ensuring a sustainable national capacity, completion of a mine action programme also requires mitigating the impact on completion on personnel of national mine action programmes which often employs hundreds of deminers.
The thematic discussion will examine the importance of taking appropriate measures, as soon as possible, to prepare for completion, what these steps should entail, the experience of states in addressing residual contamination and approaches to mitigating the possible negative impact of completion.
16:30 – 18:00
Cooperation and Assistance and the Oslo Action Plan – Towards improved cooperation and assistance
The States Parties have long professed that while each State Party is responsible for implementing the provisions of the Convention in areas under its jurisdiction or control, enhanced cooperation can support implementation of Convention obligations as soon as possible. At the Fourth Review Conference the States Parties highlighted that strong national ownership and international cooperation and assistance are essential for the continued success of the Convention and committed to do their utmost to strengthen partnerships and to sustain 5 and, where necessary, increase resources, assistance, and national and international funding. The States Parties further committed to explore options for new and alternative sources of funding with a view to increasing the resources available to realize the Convention’s aims. Despite these commitments, most States Parties implementing the Convention have reported a lack of financial resources as one of the greatest challenges to the implementation of their Article 5 commitments within their deadlines.
The thematic discussion aims to explore funding trends since the Fourth Review Conference, spotlight successes and lessons learned in drawing from innovative sources of funding, the plight of States Parties nearing completion and how support can be better coordinated towards the Fifth Review Conference and beyond to better support States Parties in achieving completion of Article 5 by their deadlines and ensure the full implementation of Article 6 of the Convention.
18:00 End of the second day
10:00 – 13:00
5. Matters related to the mandate of the Committee on the Enhancement of Cooperation and Assistance (Continued)
6. Matters related to the mandate on the Committee on Cooperative Compliance
During this agenda item, the Committee will present its activities since the 20MSP and reflections on the implementation by States Parties of the compliance commitments under the OAP (Actions 42 to 47).
The Committee will invite States Parties with alleged or known non-compliance with the general obligations under Article 1 to provide update on their efforts to address these matters. The Committee will also invite States Parties with outstanding Article 9 commitments to take the floor to offer an update on implementation of Action 50 of the OAP.
Other States Parties and organisations wishing to engage with the Committee’s preliminary observations will be invited to take the floor.
7. Matters related to the mandate of the President
During this agenda item, the President will present his activities on universalization and those of the Universalisation Coordination Group. The President will then invite States not party participating in the meeting to take the floor, if interested.
The President will then give the floor to interested delegations and organisations to offer updates on any other matter concerning universalisation in accordance with the OAP (Actions 11 and 12).
13:00 – 15:00 Lunch Break / Side Events
15:00 - 18:00
7. Matters related to the mandate of the President (continued)
b. Stockpile destruction and retention of anti-personnel mines
During this agenda item, the President will present his activities on matters related to stockpile destruction under Article 4 and on matters related to anti-personnel mines retained for training 6 and other permitted purposes under Article 3. Following the presentation by the President, the floor will be granted to delegations as follows:
a. States Parties that have missed their Article 4 deadlines (Greece and Ukraine) will be invited to offer updated information on the implementation of their stockpile destruction commitments in accordance with the OAP (Actions 13 to 15);
b. States Parties that have discovered previously unknown stockpiled mines will be invited to take the floor;
c. States Parties that retain anti-personnel mines for training and other permitted purposes will be invited to provide information on the reasons for retaining such anti-personnel mines under Article 3 and plans for the use of these mines and efforts to explore alternatives in accordance with the OAP (Actions 16 and 17).
d. Other States Parties and organisations wishing to engage with the Committee’s preliminary observations will be invited to take the floor.
8. Preparations for the Twentieth Meeting of the States Parties
- a. Presentation of a draft programme of work for the 21MSP (President)
- b. Update on preparations for the 21MSP (21MSP Secretary-General Designate)
- c. Presentation on 21MSP financial and organisational matters (UNODA)
- d. Update on the Sponsorship Programme (Sponsorship Programme Coordinator)
- e. Proposed dates for the Convention’s 2024 meetings (President)
- f. Update on efforts to propose a set of office holders to be elected at the 21MSP (President)
- g. Discussion (interested delegations)
9. Implementation Support Unit
a. Activities and finances of the ISU
- Update on the ISU’s activities and finances by the ISU Director
- Delegations’ updates
b. 2023 Pledging Conference
- ▪ Update by the President on the outcomes of the 2023 Pledging Conference
10. Closing remarks
H.E. Thomas Göbel, Permanent Representative of Germany to the Conference on Disarmament, and President of the Twenty-First Meeting of the States Parties (21MSP) will deliver closing remarks.