Excellencies and Distinguished Colleagues,
On behalf of the Co-Chairs of the Standing Committees established by the States Parties to the Convention banning anti-personnel mines, it is our pleasure to invite you to participate in the second session of the 2001-2002 meetings of the Standing Committees. These meetings will take place from May 27 to 31, 2002 at the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), Room A, avenue de la Paix 7bis (WMO Building), Geneva.
The Intersessional Work Programme was established to facilitate in-depth considerations of mine action issues by all interested parties, to work in a way which promotes continuity, openness, transparency, inclusiveness and a cooperative spirit, and to advance the achievement of the humanitarian objectives of the Convention. Through the work of the Standing Committees, the Intersessional Programme has lived up this promise.
Since the last set of Standing Committee meetings, the Co-Chairs have given a great deal of consideration to ensuring that the Intersessional Work Programme continues to serve as an effective means to support the implementation of the Convention. In this regard, the Co-Chairs have made a few minor changes to the programme for the week of meetings in May in order to focus with even greater clarity on achieving the core humanitarian aims of the Convention. One of the changes you will notice is that the week of meetings will begin with a half-day session of the Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention. The purpose of this session principally will be: to provide an overview of key areas of implementation; to highlight matters that will be discussed in other Standing Committee meetings; and, to enable all States Parties and others to discuss future enhancements to the Intersessional Programme.
A second change that you will notice is that the Co-Chairs have developed a package of background documents that may be of use to you in preparing for the upcoming meetings. We would encourage you to review the enclosed Co-Chairs' Notes to Meeting Participants.
Finally, a perhaps less visible change is the provision of greater opportunities for State participation in the meetings. As noted in the Co-Chairs' Notes, you may wish to contact the Implementation Support Unit should you desire to intervene in various issues. This will greatly assist the Co-Chairs in preparing speakers lists.
To further assist you to prepare yourselves and your delegations for the meetings, we would encourage you to attend a briefing at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8, 2002 in Geneva, at the Palais des Nations, Room VII. At this briefing the Presidency will provide an overview of activities the week of May 27-31 and the Co-Chairs will explain various elements in their agendas.
In order to facilitate your logistical and administrative preparations for the May 27-31 meetings, please find enclosed a registration form and a document containing important administrative information. Please fill in the registration form and fax it to the GICHD no later than May 13, 2002. You can also register for the meetings of the Standing Committees on-line at www.gichd.ch.
We look forward to seeing you at the meetings in May and we remain,