Continuing CHAPTER III Conventional weapons issues


Anti-personnel mines

Nairobi Summit--First Review Conference of States Parties to the Mine-Ban Convention

In accordance with the decision taken at the Fifth Meeting of the States Parties, it was agreed to hold the Mine-Ban Convention's First Review Conference at the United Nations facilities in Nairobi from 29 November to 3 December 2004. The States parties agreed to designate Wolfgang Petritsch (Austria) as President of the First Review Conference; to request that Kenya designate a Secretary-General of the Review Conference; and to proceed with a preparatory process in a manner consistent with the elements contained in the report1 of the President of the Fourth Meeting of the States Parties, Jean Lint (Belgium).
To prepare for the First Review Conference, two sessions of the Preparatory Meeting were held on 13 February and 28-29 June 2004, respectively. At the Second Preparatory Meeting, it was recommended that, in keeping with the practice of the annual meetings, the co-chairs of the four Standing Committees should serve as vice-presidents of the First Review Conference namely, Australia, Cambodia, Croatia, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Mexico and the Netherlands. In addition, given that the Review Conference was to take place in Africa and that the 2003-2004 complement of co-chairs did not include an African State party, it was recommended that one additional vice-president be nominated from an African State party at the Review Conference.
On 2-3 December 2003, preparatory work for the Nairobi Summit was launched at a ceremony in Cyprus at which the host government commenced its programme of destroying stockpiled anti-personnel mines. The following eight regional conferences were held leading up to the First Review Conference for the purpose of advancing the Convention's aims: Burkina Faso for West Africa, Romania for South-Eastern Europe, Kenya for the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa, Tajikistan for Central Asia, Jordan for the Middle East, Lithuania for Northern and Eastern Europe, Ecuador for the Americas, and Thailand for South East Asia. In addition, other States parties hosted conferences of a thematic nature, including France and Switzerland. The African Union held the Second Continental Meeting of Experts on Landmines and adopted the Common African Position on Landmines. Donor states, the United Nations, ICBL, ICRC and GICHD played an instrumental role in financing, otherwise supporting and participating in these regional events or both.

The Conference

The First Review Conference was opened on 29 November by Sorajak Kasemsuvan, (Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Thailand). Wolfgang Petritsch (Austria) was elected President. Participants included 109 States parties, 26 States as observers, and a number of international organizations and NGOs.2
The Secretary-General addressed the Conference via satellite-link up on 3 December. He spoke highly of the progress made by States parties to the Convention in implementing the Instrument. He expressed strong support for the vision set forth in the Nairobi Declaration and promised that the United Nations would continue to help in every way possible in achieving the goal of a mine-free world.3
The Conference held ten plenary meetings from 29 November to 3 December. It reviewed the general status and operation of the Convention, the matter of future meetings of the States parties and related matters, and a draft plan of action to overcome remaining challenges, and the suffering caused by anti-personnel mines. The final four plenary meetings featured a high-level segment at which 103 representatives of States parties, observer States and observer organizations addressed the Conference.
The Conference concluded that, since it was adopted in Oslo on 18 September 1997, the Convention's unique spirit of cooperation had been sustained, ensuring the Convention's rapid entry into force and its more than five successful years of implementation. The Conference took stock of accomplishments to date and the essential work that lies before the States parties in ensuring that the Convention lives up to its promise.4
The Conference adopted a document containing the Review of the operation and status of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction: 1999-2004, emphasizing that while great progress had been made in ending the suffering caused by anti-personnel mines, much more needed to be done.5 It also adopted a document entitled Ending the suffering caused by anti-personnel mines: Nairobi Action Plan 2005-2009,6 and urged all States parties and all others who shared their aims to undertake all necessary actions at the national, regional and international levels to implement the action plan. It also adopted a document entitled Towards a mine-free world: the 2004 Nairobi Declaration,7 emphasizing that this declaration contained the States parties' renewed commitment to achieving the goal of a world free of anti-personnel mines, in which there were no more new victims.
As for the Programme of meetings and related matters to facilitate implementation of the Nairobi Action Plan 2005-2009, the Conference took the decision to hold annually, until the Second Review Conference, a Meeting of the States parties to take place in the second half of the year, in Geneva or, when possible or appropriate, in a mine-affected country. In addition, until 2009, annual informal intersessional meetings of the Standing Committees would be held in Geneva in the first half of the year, for a duration of up to five days. Finally, it was decided that the Second Review Conference would take place in the second half of 2009.
The next Meeting of the States Parties would be held in Croatia from 28 November to 2 December 2005. Meetings of the Standing Committees would take place during the week of 13-17 June 2005 with the length of individual meetings and their sequencing, and duration of the entire period meetings to be established by the Coordinating Committee.

The Sixth Annual Conference of the States Parties to the Amended Protocol II to the CCW

Pursuant to the decisions of the previous Annual Conference, the Sixth Annual Conference was convened on 17 November in Geneva8 and elected Carlos Antonio da Rocha Paranhos (Brazil) as President.
In a message to the Conference, the United Nations Secretary-General called on the international community to do its utmost to eliminate anti-personnel mines worldwide. He appealed to those countries that had not yet ratified Amended Protocol II, particularly those which had acceded to the original Protocol II, to do so as soon as possible, as anti-personnel mines aggravated the disastrous economic consequences of armed conflicts and threatened future generations.
The Conference conducted its work in plenary meetings and reviewed the operation and status of Amended Protocol II. Nineteen States took part in the general exchange of views.9 As at the previous annual conference, the issue of the universality of the Protocol remained the underlying theme of the debate, while many states parties also expressed support for enhancing compliance, including the submission of national annual reports.
The Conference received national annual reports from 50 States parties.10 These reports contained information on (a) dissemination of information on the Protocol to armed forces and civilian populations; (b) mine clearance and rehabilitation programmes; (c) steps taken to meet technical requirements of the Protocol and any other relevant information pertaining thereto; (d) legislation related to the Protocol; (e) measures taken on international technical information exchange, on international cooperation on mine clearance, and on technical cooperation and assistance; (f) other relevant matters; and (g) information to the UN-database on mine clearance.
The Conference concluded its work by adopting its final document,11 as well as an appeal12 to all States that had not yet done so to take all measures to accede to Amended Protocol II as soon as possible. In its report, the Conference recommended that the Secretary-General, as depositary, and the President-designate of the Seventh Annual Conference, exercise their authority to achieve the goal of its universality, and called upon the States parties to promote wider adherence in their respective regions.
The Conference decided to designate a representative of Switzerland as president of the Seventh Annual Conference to be convened in 2005 and representatives of China, the Czech Republic and Jordan as Vice-Presidents-designate.13

1APLC/MSP.5/2003/5, Annex II.
2See Final Report of the First Review Conference, APLC/CONF/2004/5, 9 February 2005, available from http://www.reviewconference.org/pdf/ documents/final_report.
3In his address to the Summit on a Mine-Free World, the Secretary-General pledged support in implementing the strategy for the next five years, (SG/SM/9634). Available from http://disarmament.un.org.
4As recorded in documents APLC/CONF/2004/L.3/Rev.1, APLC/CONF/ 2004/L.3/Rev.1/Corr.1 and APLC/CONF/2004/L.3/Rev.1/ Amend.1
5APLC/CONF/2004/5
6Ibid.
7Ibid.
8For the list of participants, see the Final Document of the Sixth Annual Conference, CCW/AP.II/CONF.6/3, 17 November 2004.
9See CCW/AP.II/CONF.6/SR.1.
10Ibid.
11CCW/AP.II/CONF.6/3.
12Ibid., Annex II.
13The Conference decided that the Meeting of the States Parties to the CCW, in November 2004, would address the dates and duration of the Seventh Annual Conference in 2005. On 19 November 2004, the Meeting of the States Parties to the CCW agreed to convene the Seventh Annual Conference on 23 November 2005 in Geneva.