Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva, Switzerland
Address: Chemin des Fins 2, Case Postale 102, 1211 Geneva 19 - Telephone: 022 799 9100 - Fax: 022 799 9178

Convention on Cluster Munitions

Intersessional Meeting – April 2012

UNIVERSALISATION

Statement by Australia

16 April 2012

Statement delivered by Ms Merinda Petersen, Intern, Australian Permanent Mission, Geneva


Thank you Mr Coordinator.

We wish to thank Japan and Portugal for their preparations for today’s meeting on universalisation of the CCM, and for their consistent work in this regard. We also thank the CMC for its informative presentation.

As we move into the third year of the Convention's activities, Australia welcomes the efforts towards universalisation and strongly encourages States not party to join the CCM as soon as possible.

We welcome the following 7 States joining the Convention since the 2MSP: the Côte d'Ivoire, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Italy, Mauritania, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Australia has supported efforts to encourage universalisation of the Convention internationally, particularly in our Asia-Pacific region. In Thailand and Cambodia, we supported - through funding and provision of experts - two cluster munition universalisation workshops, in August of last year. These workshops resulted in positive engagement from both Thailand and Cambodia on the Convention and we have continued to engage those Governments to encourage their accession to the CCM.

Recognising the positive contribution that civil society plays in encouraging broad participation in the Convention, Australia continues to support the Cluster Munition Coalition to undertake advocacy and universalisation work including in the Asia-Pacific.

Australia continues to be a strong supporter of the CCM, and was one of the first countries to sign the Convention on 3 December 2008.

We are committed to ending for all time the suffering and casualties caused by indiscriminate cluster munitions. Since signing the CCM, Australia has made steady progress on domestic procedures to ratify the CCM. These processes are well advanced. Legislation to implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Australia was passed by the House of Representatives in November 2010, and should be debated in the Senate soon.

Once all of the necessary legislative and administrative measures to give effect to the Convention are in place, we will move as quickly as possible towards lodging Australia’s instrument of ratification for the CCM with the UN Secretary-General. We hope to be in a position to do so later this year and look forward to joining the ranks of States Parties to the CCM.

In the meantime, Australia remains committed to supporting the humanitarian objectives of the CCM, including through our $100 million Mine Action Strategy of the Australian aid program 2010-14. Australia will continue to work with the international community to remediate regions and communities affected by explosive remnants of war, including cluster munitions.

Australia continues to take opportunities to promote the universalisation of the CCM, at the multilateral, regional and bilateral levels. We have also provided financial support to the Cluster Munitions Coalition for its advocacy campaign globally. As a donor to mine action, Australia has also used its partnership relations to encourage recipient States to join the CCM.

Thank you.