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
First Preparatory Meeting for Maputo Review Conference
Elements for the post-Review Conference working programme
Statement of Australia

6 December 2013

Statement delivered by Ms Namdi Payne

Mr President-designate

Australia welcomes Mozambique’s timely paper on elements of a future working programme. We support the emphasis on learning from our past record and looking to revitalise our work and efforts going forward. It is, indeed, important that States parties more effectively utilise meeting time and resources.

We would welcome further discussion on how synergies between discussions under this Convention and those in the context of other relevant treaties may be realised. We recognise that there can be thematic overlap with other Conventions and we remain open to exploring creative ideas about the best way to rationalise effectively such discussions in practice.

Our goal should be to ensure the focus of the future work programme realistically matches our expectations of what we want of this Convention after Maputo. The Plan of Action will guide our way and we need to guarantee that the working programme properly facilitates such actions.

As suggested in your team’s paper, on formal meetings, we see some merit in trying to focus plenary time on compliance matters, while thematic discussions might to some extent be better facilitated in side events. This could indeed be more effective and efficient use of time and resources. However, this would mean that States parties will need to be more committed and better equipped to address issues of compliance in plenary.

In addition, we also see some merit in exploring how to replace the intersessional meetings with a more effective informal work programme. The idea of holding regional and thematic meetings could be useful. We agree that, in principle, this could enable more substantive discussion on topics than the plenary sessions currently allow. However, it would be useful to have further discussions on exactly what this would entail in terms of resources and on the workload of the Presidents, Standing Committee Co-Chairs and the Implementation Support Unit.

As we go forward in our preparations, we also welcome a broader discussion, including on what substance we may be losing from not retaining the intersessional programme in its current form and which such thematic and regional meetings might not cover. Australia remains open-minded to all ideas in this regard.

We again offer you our full support in further elaborating these ideas on a future working programme.

I thank you Mr President-designate.