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Statements in International Organisations


Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons - Group of Governmental Experts: Closing Statement (Geneva, 14 - 18 January 2008)

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

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Mr Chairman,

1.I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.

2. The European Union (EU) welcomesthe comprehensivediscussions that we have had during this week and should like to thank all delegations that have engaged so positively and constructively. We are pleased with the progress made by the CCW Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) during this first meeting in 2008 that we are about to conclude today.

3. At the outset of this meeting, the EU declared in its opening statement that “the January meeting of the GGE should focus on definitions.” We are satisfied that our proposal has been taken into account and has resulted not only in the exchange of views among delegations that have proposed various definitions or approaches towards definitions, but also in the process, which leads us towards the adoption of a working definitions for the purpose of  further negotiations. The EU is particularly satisfied with the good work done by military and technical experts, ably chaired by Danish Major General Fynbo assisted by Russian General Lieutenant Vladimir Mikheev.

4. The progress made here clearly indicates a step forward in the CCW process and demonstrates that the CCW is a dynamic instrument responsive to new humanitarian and technical challenges.

5. At this point Mr Chairman let me comment on other issues contained in your draft report of the work of the GGE (this document is to be presented on the Thursday afternoon).

The European Union particularly welcomes the decision of the GGE to convene a second meeting in early April (7-11) and is looking forward to take part in the second phase of negotiations.. The April meeting will give the CCW an opportunity to maintain momentum and to take work forward before it meets again in July. We will work hard between now and April to prepare for this forthcoming meetings and we would encourage you Mr chairman and other delegations to engage seriously in fruitful inter-sessional consultations. .

6. We believe that the April meeting can further take forward agreement on working definitions and on other concrete elements of the future protocol, inter alia:

  • Definitions and Scope,
  • Prohibition on the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of those cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians,
  • Rules for the protection of civilians,
  • Clearance,
  • Stockpiles destruction,
  • Transition arrangements,
  • Victim Assistance,
  • International cooperation and assistance,
  • There should also be a clear connection to Protocol V on clearance and to other provisions of the international humanitarian law.

We are convinced that we can advance in these areas as well.

7. Mr. Chairman, let me also praise your work and the work of your colleagues, as well as that of the Secretariat, conference services and the interpreters. Your tireless efforts have engaged us in real negotiations that have served to reinforce the credibility of the CCW. We hope that you will continue to guide us towards our joint goal that is to negotiate a legally binding instrument that addresses the humanitarian concerns of cluster munitions in all their aspects by the end of the year 2008. The European Union will certainly continue to offer you our full support throughout the year. The European Union would also like to encourage you to prepare a substantial document, which will serve as a basis for further work, continued in April and July meetings.

8. Finally, the European Union would like to reiterate once again that the new CCW protocol should be negotiated by the end of the 2008. The European Union believes that this goal is achievable and will spare no efforts in order to reach it within the deadline advocated by the European Union member states.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman


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Date: 17.04.2008