Geneva -- On 18 September, Sudan, as President of the AP Mine Ban Convention hosted an informal meeting in preparation for the Eighteenth Meeting of the States Parties (18MSP) to be held in Geneva the week of 16 November.
“Thank you for joining me on this important day in which we also commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the adoption of the Convention in Oslo where the international community finalized the text that would ban the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of anti-personnel mines, and reemphasized their commitment to a mine-free world where those affected by mines can find a safe, dignified place to live,” said H.E. Osman Abufatima Adam Mohammed, Deputy Permanent Representative of Sudan to the UN at Geneva.
Precisely in Oslo and just a few months back, the international community adopted the Oslo Action Plan to guide State Party efforts towards fulfilment of the Convention’s ambitions.
“This first year of implementation of the Oslo Action Plan is of great importance; albeit, given the ongoing pandemic it has been difficult. However, I am continually impressed with the resilience of the mine action community to find creative ways to adapt to the challenging circumstances and continue to move forward with our common goals,” added the Chair.
“During the Intersessional Meetings we had a chance to interact with some colleagues in the field but not at the level we would have liked. Therefore, we need to ensure that the 18MSP is as inclusive as possible and that we get to hear from mine clearance and victim assistance experts directly as it is customary in the meetings of this fine Convention”.
Non-official notes from the informal meeting
- Week of work: A total of five (5) hybrid sessions covering three thematic areas will take place as follows,
- Presentation of extension requests submitted by States Parties with deadlines in December 2020 and in 2021 and States Parties that have discovered previously unknown mined areas after declaring completion. These will be presented by the Directors of mine action programmes or country’s expert(s);
- Updates by States Parties implementing mine clearance commitments;
- Updates by States Parties implementing victim assistance commitments.
Due to UN restrictions, hybrid sessions cannot last longer than two hours. As a result, the States Parties’ meeting will be reduced by five hours. Therefore, States are strongly encouraged to refrain from general statements submitting written statements to the ISU instead. Nevertheless, should States still wish to deliver general statement there will be a very small window of opportunity for presentation of such statements but adhering to a very strict under three-minute rule.
Some sessions may be broadcast live via UN Web TV while others could take place through the Interprefy platform (as used during the Intersessional).
- The “consideration of the general status and operation of the Convention” will be organized thematically to include the work of the Committees on victim assistance, mine clearance and risk education, cooperation and assistance, and cooperative compliance. In addition to the President’s mandate such as stockpile destruction, universalization and transparency and exchange of information.
- Consideration will be given to multilingualism.
- Guide to Reporting, the President reminded participants that minor amendments to the Guide were introduced during the Intersessional Meetings. The minor changes would bring the Guide in line with decisions taken in Oslo such as reporting on efforts to ensure consideration for gender and diverse needs of affected communities.
- New Committee Members The Convention President thanked profusely all States that put forward their candidacies for new members of the Committees. “It is indication of a good working instrument when these many States want to actively participate,” he indicated as he presented his proposal for the new make up of the Committees in line with his mandate to ensure that it is balanced regionally as well as between States Parties in the process of implementing key obligations of the Convention, those in a position to provide financial or other assistance, and other States Parties. The Decision on the following States will be adopted by the 18MSP,
- Victim Assistance: Algeria and Ecuador (new members) will join Sweden and Thailand (remaining)
- Article 5 implementation: Belgium and Sri Lanka (new members) will join Norway and Zambia (remaining)
- Cooperation and Assistance: Japan and Sudan (new members) will join Colombia and Germany (remaining)
- Cooperative Compliance: Chile and Spain (new members) will join Panama and Poland (remaining)
- Next Presidents
- The incoming President, Netherlands, informed that the Nineteenth Meeting of the States Parties (19MSP) will take place in Netherlands the week of 29 November 2021 and that plans for a suitable venue are being finalised.
- Sudan, as the current Convention President, invited States Parties in particular mine-affected, to consider leading the work of the Twentieth Meeting of the States Parties (20MSP). “It is important that the 20MSP President is elected at the 19MSP to ensure continuity,” added the Chair.
- Sponsorship Programme and other organizational matters
- Australia, as Coordinator, indicated that the programme is in healthy condition however, due to Covid-19 restrictions a robust sponsorship programme is not expected for the 18MSP and welcomed the President’s efforts to ensure that the 18MSP is as inclusive as possible under the current conditions.
- Sudan informed that it hopes it will be able to bring a little bit of “Sudan’s culture to Geneva” albeit at this stage it is hard to anticipate what that will look like.
- Switzerland, as Secretary General, indicated that the customary opening reception will not take place due to Covid-19 restrictions.
- ISU will also present its 2021 work plan for approval by the States Parties in line with its 5-year work plan adopted at the Fourth Review Conference.
- Should the need arise, a new informal meeting could be called in late October or early November.
For more information, contact the Implementation Support Unit, ISU@apminebanconvention.org