18 March 2013
Excellencies, dear friends,
Meetings of the Standing Committees
When the Intersessional Work Programme was established in 1999, the aim was “to consolidate global mine action efforts to the greatest extent possible and to highlight the role of the Convention as a comprehensive framework for mine action.” We have succeeded with regard to this aim to date and I look forward to similar efforts being undertaken in May. In this regard, I would ask that States Parties that are in the process of implementing key provisions of the Convention come prepared to specify what additional progress has been made since we last heard from you and what remains to be done, particularly concerning objectives that could be met in time for the Third Review Conference in 2014. In addition, I would ask all delegations to come prepared to discuss how collectively we can work to overcome remaining challenges in the pursuit of a mine-free world.
I am pleased that the Co-Chairs have prepared a programme that again emphasises the importance of participation by States Parties that are in the process of clearing mined areas, destroying stockpiled mines, assisting survivors or implementing other aspects of the Convention. Please note that, in keeping with past practice, the programme does not incorporate a general exchange of views. Meeting time in Geneva is increasingly being recognised as a valuable commodity. It is more important that we get down to work the morning of 27 May, focusing on key aspects of implementation at that time and throughout the week.
With a view to organizing efficient meetings, you will note that the meetings of the Standing Committees themselves span four, not five, days – from 27 to 30 May. Friday 31 May has been reserved for Co-Chairs, should they wish, to convene technical meetings or workshops. In coming days, Co-Chairs will no doubt inform delegations of any plans to stage such activities.
I would ask that you register on-line for the May meetings at by 20 May 2013. Should you have any questions about the agendas or if you wish to indicate in advance your intention to intervene on particular items, please contact the Implementation Support Unit (isu(at)apminebanconvention.org). In addition, as you prepare for the May meetings, I wish to kindly remind delegations of the commitments we have made concerning gender and diversity, for example, as found in Actions #19, #29 and #41 of the Cartagena Action Plan. States and international and non-governmental organisations may wish to consider such action points both in terms of the composition of their delegations and in preparing updates to deliver during various meetings.
I look forward to seeing you soon.