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

MINE BAN CONVENTION
13th Meeting of State Parties
Agenda 11: Universalisation
Statement by Australia

5 December 2013

Mr President

Australia takes this opportunity to recognise and thank the Special Envoy to the Convention, His Royal Highness Prince Mired of Jordan, for his tireless efforts in promoting the Convention and calling on States to join the Convention.

We warmly welcome Poland as a State Party to the Convention. Australia continues to strongly encourage universal adherence to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, particularly among our neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region.

We believe all States Parties should continue to support the actions outlined in the Cartagena Action Plan to achieve universal adherence to the Convention and its norms.

In addition, Australia appreciates Belgium’s efforts as Coordinator of the Universalisation Contact Group. We welcome Belgium’s initiative in suggesting the local “Friends of the Convention” concept. We remain supportive of the concept, and believe that it has the potential to assist and inspire more States Parties to engage in universalization efforts in more creative ways.

Mr President

We note that Australia has been an effective contributor, within our region, to mine action in 2012 and 2013, particularly coordinating efforts to address the problems instigated by WWII UXO and other explosive remnants of war in the Pacific Island States. Following the inaugural Regional Meeting on the Implementation of the Pacific Islands Forum Regional Unexploded Ordnance held in October 2012, Australia funded the second Pacific regional workshop on Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) which was held in Brisbane in June 2013. We seized this opportunity to again promote and encourage those non-States Parties in the region to join the Convention.

Australia also attended the third regional workshop on addressing ERW action in the Pacific which was held in Palau on 18-21 November 2013. We again urged all Pacific island nations that have not done so already to join and ratify the Mine Ban Convention as well as other relevant conventions. Australia noted that joining the Mine Ban Convention would greatly complement the work and discussions underway at regional and national levels in the Pacific to address the socio-economic impacts of ERW.

We also welcome the efforts of the Implementation Support Unit (ISU), who have continued to advocate strongly for universal adherence. In this context, we thank the ISU for its assistance to the Pacific regional workshop, as it was particularly supportive in promoting and raising awareness towards the universalisation of the Convention.

Mr President

Australia takes this opportunity to commend also, the work and enormous contribution of the United Nations, civil society and NGOs in maintaining momentum towards universalization of the Convention – our efforts towards universalization are strengthened by our close working partnership.

I thank you, Mr President.