On September 13, 2001, at the concluding plenary of the annual session of the Conference on Disarmament, the delegation of Romania took the floor to inform on the commencement of the national anti-personnel mines stockpiles destruction process on August 31, 2001, in the compliance with the provisions of the Ottawa Convention.

On this occasion the delegation of Romania expressed its firm condemnation for the terrorist attacks in the US and the solidarity of the Romanian people and Government with the people and Government of the United States of America in standing against this global security threat.

Conference on Disarmament

S T A T E M E N T by
Permanent Representative of Romania to the
United Nations Office in Geneva

Geneva, September 13, 2001

Mr. President,

Since it is the first time I am taking the floor under your distinguished office, allow me begin by congratulate you for the assumption of the presidency of the Conference, as well as for the way you are discharging the special responsibility of President at the conclusion of this session, as well as, for the skillful manner you conducted the drafting of the Report of Conference on Disarmament to the United Nations General Assembly.

I would also like to avail myself of this opportunity to congratulate your predecessors for the intensive and constructive efforts aimed at moving the work of the Conference forward.

Mr. President,

I had asked for the floor for addressing the issue of the Ottawa Convention and the manner in which my Government is implementing its commitments in view of the forthcoming Meeting of the States Parties in Managua, but I feel I cannot speak today, just two days after the tragic and shocking events in New York and Washington, without first expressing - on behalf of the entire Romanian people - our deep sorrow and compassion for the terrible human loss and pain suffered by the people of the United States of America.

The President and the Government of Romania strongly condemn these cowardly acts of terrorism. It is now clearer than ever that international terrorism is a major and palpable threat to peace and security in the world and we count on the contribution of all responsible states in fighting against this evil which strikes at fundamental values of civilization, democracy and freedom.

Mr. President,

I would like to join the previous distinguished delegations that addressed the issue of the Ottawa Convention in this Chamber in congratulating the states which have recently signed or ratified the instrument, as well as, those which recently concluded the process of destruction of APLs stockpiles. I would like also to commend the intense and constructive efforts displayed during the inter-session period by the Norwegian Presidency, the delegations of Belgium and Zimbabwe, along with all the Co-Chairmen and Co-Reporters of the Standing Committees.

My Government shares the view that since it entered into force a great deal of progress has been achieved in expanding the adherence of the states to the Ottawa Convention, as well as, in the process of reducing the number of APLs and victims around the world. At the same time, however, much still remains to be done and we look forward to the forthcoming Meeting of the States Parties as a reconfirmation of this highly positive political momentum.

Romania is determined to provide a standing contribution to the Ottawa process both by domestic measures of implementation of the commitments undertaken and by active involvement in the inter-sessional work.

Mr. President,

Although for my country the Convention came into force only on May 1, 2001, I am honored and proud to inform you and the delegations that the process of destruction of the Romanian Army APLs stockpile has commenced on August 31, 2001, when a first lot of 10,000 mines were eliminated. The event took place in the presence of government officials, diplomats and military attaches accredited in Bucharest. A detailed presentation was made on that occasion regarding the composition and technical features of the 1,076,629 aggregate total number of Romanian APLs holdings. Moreover, destruction of the entire APLs stockpile in custody of the Romanian Ministry of Interior - 27,445 items representing full assembled mines and explosive filled mine shells - was completed on August 28, 2001.

Efforts are directed these days towards finalizing the drafting of internal legislation for implementation of the Ottawa Convention and of the national reports to the United Nations which will be submitted well before the deadline for our country. In this regard there is a need to underline the importance and usefulness of international cooperation and assistance in providing training and advice from states which have more experience in the process of implementation, as it was the case of the Fribourg Seminar, organized and hosted recently by Switzerland.

Mr. President,

As Permanent Representative of a recent State Party to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, allow me to clearly state, once again, that Romania is fully committed to implement in due time all the provisions of this Convention aimed at reducing and eliminating the suffering caused by the plague of anti-personnel mines.

Thank you for your attention

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