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SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES TO CERTAIN CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS
CONVENTION TO REMAIN GUIDED BY HUMANITARIAN PRINCIPLES UNDERPINNING TREATY
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the 2008 Meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, delivered by Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, in Geneva today, 13 November:
I am pleased to send greetings to all participants of the 2008 Meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). I am particularly delighted to do so on the eve of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Convention’s entry into force.
I commend your efforts over the past 25 years to make this major treaty an indispensable element of contemporary humanitarian, disarmament and arms control machinery, and to provide a forum to consider how best to protect civilians from the effects of hostilities.
The CCW process has had major achievements. Protocol V is a recent example. However, much more could be done to further address anti-vehicle mines. The CCW also has the potential to respond to the humanitarian challenges posed by advancements in weapons technology. I urge you to make full use of the Convention’s unique and dynamic structure. The establishment of a CCW Implementation Support Unit would also promote the continuity and stability of the process.
You are at an important juncture in the evolution of this Convention. I follow closely your efforts to address the effects of inhumane weapons, and this year, with cluster munitions so much in focus, has been no exception. I urge you to continue to be guided in your efforts by the fundamental humanitarian principles that make up the very basis of this Convention. This is the best way to secure its credibility and enhance its considerable humanitarian potential for the benefit of all victims of armed conflicts.
I am encouraged by the establishment of a compliance mechanism. I also strongly support your efforts to make the Convention universal, and to encourage wider adherence and participation among developing countries and States affected by mines and explosive remnants of war. The Plan of Action to promote universalization and the Sponsorship Programme have proven to be valuable practical tools to this effect.
Finally, I take this opportunity to urge, once again, all States that have not yet done so to consider acceding, as soon as possible, to the Convention and its Protocols. The United Nations will continue to strongly support your work. In that spirit, I wish you every success in your deliberations.
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