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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)

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Mr. Chairman,

I am speaking on behalf of the European Union.

Mr Chairman, I first wish to commend you as well as Major General Fynbo, who chaired the meetings of military experts, for your work. We also want to thank colleagues from Australia, Austria and Japan, who assisted you in their role as friends of the Chair, and the delegations who participated actively in the debates, including by submitting working documents. In our view, you managed to steer our work in an effective and constructive manner. We believe that the time we had at our disposal this week was used efficiently and that the decision to hold an additional meeting in April has proven to be right.

The EU is encouraged by the positive developments resulting from our constructive and in-depth discussions of this week. The atmosphere was businesslike and constructive and delegations engaged in a concrete exchange of views on all topics of our programme of work. This comprehensive and well managed coverage offered delegations the possibility to clarify their positions and was a useful exercise for the future work relating to cluster munitions to be done in the CCW framework.

We particularly welcome the open discussion and substantive work that took place on the basic rules of international humanitarian law (IHL), victim assistance and on types of cluster munitions that may cause particular humanitarian harm. The exchange of views on other points of programme of work was also beneficial. The results of these discussions, such as the working papers produced by the friends of the chair, should contribute to our work in July. In relation to the important discussions on international humanitarian law, the European Union wishes to stress that all relevant IHL norms and principles need to be upheld in their entirety. Our aim should be to fully implement and strengthen international humanitarian law. Moreover, the discussions of this week have revealed a convergence towards the goal of producing a legally binding instrument. We consider this as a real step forward.

Mr Chairman, the EU expects the GGE to intensify its work by starting full-fledged negotiations on a draft protocol in July on the basis of a draft proposal. In our view enough substance was provided to enable you to elaborate a comprehensive draft proposal for July meeting. The European Union calls on all delegations to contribute to this endeavour and remains fully committed to assist you in this respect.

The aim of the EU 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, and which would also include provisions on cooperation and assistance.

Mr Chairman, on behalf of the EU Member States, I would like to restate our full support and confidence in your work and wish you all the best in your endeavours.

Thank you.


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Date: 17.04.2008