Intersessional Meetings 2023
The 2023 Intersessional Meetings took 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.
Video Ambassador Thomas Göbel of Germany, President of the Twenty-First Meeting of the States Parties (21MSP), Mr. Laurent Masmejean, Acting Permanent Representative of Switzerland, Ambassador Stefano Toscano, Director of the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining and Ms. Selma Guso, representative of mine-affected communities delivered opening remarks.
- H.E. Thomas Göbel, President of the 21MSP
- Mr. Laurent Masmejean, Acting Permanent Representative of Switzerland
- H.E. Stefano Toscano, Director of the GICHD
- Ms Selma Guso, Representative of mine-affected communities
Video The Chairs of the Convention’s Committees presented the Committee's activities and preliminary observations. A representative of the gender focal points also provided an update.
- Uganda, Chair of the Committee on Victim Assistance
- France, Chair of the Committee on Article 5 Implementation
- Thailand, Chair of the Committee on the Enhancement of Cooperation and Assistance
- Germany, Chair of the Committee on Cooperative Compliance
- Netherlands, Representative of the Gender Focal Points
Video 1 and video 2 The Chair of the Committee on Victim Assistance, Uganda, presented the Committee’s 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 Oslo Action Plan (OAP) (Actions 33 to 41).
The following States Parties implementing victim assistance commitments offered updates on their efforts and challenges faced in the implementation of their commitments under the OAP:
- South Sudan
In addition the following State Party submitted a written statement
The following other delegations shared views and information on matters related to victim assistance:
- European Union
- United Nations Inter-Agency Coordination Group on Mine Action (IACG-MA)
Video 1 video 2 - The Chair of the Committee on Article 5 Implementation, France, presented the Committee’s 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).
Following the presentation of the Committee’s activities, the floor was granted to delegations for updates.
The following State Party which has submitted a request for extension of its Article 5 deadline for consideration by the 21MSP offered an informal presentation of its request:
Ukraine's presentation was followed by comments from the following delegations: ICBL, NPA on behalf of Mine Action Review, GICHD and the HALO Trust.
The Chair of the Committee remarked that to date Eritrea has not submitted a request for extension in accordance with Article 5 and is currently in non-compliance with the Convention. The Chair indicated that the matter of Eritrea is now dealt with by the President, under the umbrella of the Committee on Cooperative Compliance.
The floor was then given to States Parties which have been requested to submit updated work plans in accordance with decisions on their extension requests to present an overview of their updated work plans:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
The following other States Parties implementing Article 5 presented updates on their progress in meetings their deadlines:
- South Sudan
The following additional delegations shared views on matters related to Article 5 implementation:
- Burkina Faso
- European Union
- Mine Action Review
- HALO trust
In line with the decisions of the 20MSP, the Committee provided information on its efforts to continue strengthening the Article 5 extension request process and the adherence to the relevant actions of the OAP.
- Committee’s remarks on the Article 5 extension request process
The following delegations took the floor on matters related to the extension process:
In addition to the oral statements, the following organisation submitted a written statement:
- Organization of American States
Video The Chair of the Committee on the Enhancement of Cooperation and Assistance, Thailand, presented 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 following States Parties offered updates on their efforts and challenges on matters related to cooperation and assistance:
- United Kingdom
- HALO Trust
In addition, the following delegations provided a written statement:
Video The Chair of the Committee on Cooperative Compliance presented 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 following States Parties with alleged or known non-compliance with the general obligations under Article 1 provided updates on their efforts to address these matters:
The following other delegations took the floor on matters regarding to Article 1.1:
- United Kingdom
The President also highlighted the situation the Convention finds itself in with Eritrea, indicating that this matter had been entrusted to the President by the 20MSP.
The President recalled that the Convention had done its utmost to engage in a cooperative dialogue with Eritrea on their implementation of the Convention and that unfortunately a cooperative dialogue could not be established and efforts had not resulted in Eritrea submitting an Article 5 extension request.
The President informed that in line with the decisions of the 20MSP, on 24 May 2023, a request for clarification was sent to Eritrea via the Secretary-General of the United Nations, which was finally delivered by the Secretary-General to Eritrea on 9 June 2023.
In accordance with Article 8.2 of the Convention, Eritrea has 28 days to respond to the request for clarification. Should they not respond or should the response be unsatisfactory, there are further steps to take under Article 8 of the Convention.
The President indicated that all doors are kept open for Eritrea to reach out to the President or office holders of the Convention in order to establish a cooperative dialogue with the Convention and see how Eritrea can be supported to reengage in the work of the Convention.
The President highlighted the extremely cooperative nature of the Convention and how important it is to continue to work with Eritrea in the hope that it returns to compliance in the very near future.
Video a. Universalisation
The President presented his activities on universalization and those of the Universalisation Coordination Group.
The following States not party provided updates on steps they are taking to move closer to the Convention:
- Lao PDR
- Republic of Korea
The following delegation provided a written statement:
The following other delegations offered updates on matters concerning universalisation in accordance with OAP Actions 11 and 12:
- European Union
In addition the following delegations provided written statements:
Video b. Stockpile destruction and retention of anti-personnel mines
The President presented 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.
The States Parties which have missed their Article 4 deadlines provided updated information on the implementation of their stockpile destruction commitments in accordance with OAP Actions 13 to 15:
No State Party which has indicated retaining anti-personnel mines for permitted purposes under Article 3 took the floor.
The following other delegations shared their views:
Video 8a. Presentation of a draft programme of work for the 21MSP
The President of the the Twenty-First Meeting of the States Parties (21MSP) presented a draft agenda and programme of work for the 21MSP.
- 21MSP draft preliminary agenda
- 21MSP draft preliminary programme of work
8b. Update on preparations for the 21MSP
Switzerland delivered a statement in his capacity as 21MSP Secretary-General Designate.
8c. Presentation on 21MSP financial and organisational matters
UNODA provided an update on financial and organizational matters related to the 21MSP.
The following delegation took the floor on financial matters:
8d. Update on the Sponsorship Programme
Australia, in its capacity as Coordinator of the Sponsorship Programme provided an update on the Sponsorship Programme.
- Australia, as Coordinator of the Sponsorship Programme
8e. Proposed dates for the Convention’s 2024 meetings
The President recalled that the 20MSP agreed that the Fifth Review Conference would take place the week of 25-29 November 2024. This decision was taken without precluding any future interest expressed by a State Party to preside over and host the Fifth Review Conference.
The President reminded the meeting that on 24 March 2023, the Permanent Representation of Cambodia to the United Nations at Geneva circulated a letter expressing Cambodia’s interest to host and preside over the Fifth Review Conference of the States Parties.
The President warmly welcomed the interest expressed by Cambodia.
- Video Cambodia
Cambodia indicated that it wishes to host the Fifth Review Conference during the week of 2-6 December 2024, dates which coincides with the Convention’s anniversary and other important dates such as International Day for Persons with Disabilities.
In relation to the Intersessional Meetings, the President indicated that it was working jointly with Cambodia to secure a venue in Geneva before a proposal for dates could be circulated to States Parties. The President also indicated that a day would be added to the Intersessional Meetings for a preparatory meeting for the Fifth Review Conference.
8f. Update on efforts to propose a set of office holders to be elected at the 21MSP
The President informed that on 18 May 2023, he sent a a letter to all States Parties to solicit expressions of interest from States Parties wishing to fill the Committees positions. The President indicated will provide an update in due course.
Video 9a. Activities and finances of the ISU
The ISU Director provided an update on the ISU’s activities and finances.
- ISU Director
9b. 2023 Pledging Conference
The President presented an update on the outcomes of the 2023 Pledging Conference.
The Intersessional Meetings were closed by the President of the Twenty-First Meeting of the States Parties.