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Statements in International Organisations


Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons - Group of Governmental Experts: Opening Statement (Geneva, 7 - 11 April 2008)

Statement on behalf of the European Union by H.E. Ambassador Andrej Logar, Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the Conference on Disarmament

Meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts of the State Parties to the Convention on Prohibition or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects (CCW)

I am speaking on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.


Mr Chairman,

May I first tell you how glad we are to see you back in Chair. In January, the EU expressed its satisfaction with the fact that delegations were engaged very actively and constructively, and that the GGE started implementing its negotiation mandate. Active participation and contributions of a large number of delegations made it possible to hold in-depth discussions on key issues and conduct serious work on definitions. We feel encouraged that a first important step was taken towards agreed definitions and that we reached a better understanding of several important questions, in particular the technical aspects of cluster munitions. We hope that the same spirit and commitment will prevail during this second – and in our view equally important – GGE session.

We need further progress and we need it urgently. We have to prepare for a substantial and productive meeting in July. We expect the GGE to start full-fledged negotiations on the basis of a comprehensive draft proposal. With this in mind, the EU is grateful to you, Mr Chairman, and through you to the CCW Secretariat, for a compilation of inputs from statements and working papers that were distributed in January. This represents a very useful stocktaking document.

The EU welcomes the programme of work that you have proposed for this meeting. The issues on which you invited us to focus our attention are all very important, and the EU is ready to tackle them seriously. We hope, in particular, that further progress can be achieved on definitions and scope. Furthermore, the EU shares your view that more time should be devoted to discussions at military and expert levels during this session of the GGE, particularly on the definitions issue. We think that, given the complexity of some technical and legal issues, such meetings will help provide a clearer picture of problems and possible solutions. Finally, we appreciate that the need to ensure consistency between the future instrument on cluster munitions and Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War has been taken into account in the work programme. The EU is also grateful to those delegations that have responded to your invitation by submitting written contributions before this meeting or that will do so during this week.

The recent Wellington Conference on cluster munitions allowed more than 120 delegations, international organisations, including UN agencies, the ICRC and representatives of the civil society, including cluster munitions victims, to discuss the contents of a draft Cluster Munitions Convention. A Diplomatic Conference will take place in Dublin on 19-30 May 2008. We see complementarities and mutual reinforcement between these two processes. Whatever the outcome of the Oslo Process, the EU is convinced that the CCW should continue to implement its mandate as was decided in November 2007.


Mr Chairman,

Our task is challenging but the determination of the EU is up to the challenge. We want to secure, by the end of this week, a solid foundation for our future work. This means providing you with enough substance to enable you to elaborate a meaningful draft proposal for our meeting in July. The EU calls on all delegations to contribute to this endeavour.

Finally, let me once again reiterate that the aim of all EU Member States is to conclude a legally binding instrument that prohibits the use, production, transfer and stock-piling of cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians, which would include provisions on cooperation and assistance. With this in mind, the EU will spare no effort to ensure that the GGE fulfils its mandate by November 2008.

At the end, Mr Chairman, on behalf of the EU Member States and the States who have associated themselves with this statement, I would like to restate our full support and confidence, and wish you all the best in your endeavour.


* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.


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Date: 17.04.2008