The Fourth Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction



GENEVA - 17 September 2002 -

Mr. President,

At the outset, allow me to congratulate you, Ambassador Jean Lint, on your election in the important office of President of the Fourth Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction. I am confident that the meeting will successfully accomplish its challenging agenda under your able leadership and extensive experience. We would like to assure you of the full support and cooperation of Romania in accomplishing the crucial objectives of the Ottawa process in the forthcoming year.

I would like also to express our highest consideration for the Nicaraguan presidency, as well as for the co-chairmen and co-reporters of the Standing Committees for the professional and skillful manner they discharged their duties. The intense intersessional activity, the enhanced quality and transparency of the debates and dialogue in the Standing Committees meetings, as well as the increased participation to these meetings in Geneva, all stand proof of the maturity that the Mine Ban process has reached since entry into force.

Last but not least I would like to commend the important contribution the NGOs actively participating to the process, for the huge work of ICBL in compiling the 2002 edition of Land Mine Monitor and providing a most valuable and permanent input for assessing the status of implementation of the Ottawa Convention. We believe that the Ottawa Convention is providing the framework for building a strong, genuine and unique partnership between governmental and non-governmental participants, the kind of relationship and experience we would like to see continued and extended in other multilateral international frameworks.

Mr. President,

Along with the other EU associated states, my delegation joined the statement made on behalf of the European Union and fully shares the views and objectives expressed in the statement delivered to this meeting by Ambassador Iversen of Denmark.

Nevertheless, allow me, Mr. President, to underline briefly some elements regarding the firm and consistent contribution Romania is seeking to bring to the elimination of the plague of anti-personnel mines.

As stated also during the intersessional meetings, my country is actively pursuing the milestones provided for in the national program for stockpile destruction, notified in due time the national report for the year 2002 in compliance with Article 7 of the Convention and discharged the duties of co-raporteur to the Stockpile Destruction Standing Committee, along with Switzerland, under the Australian and Croatian co-chairmanship.

The Romanian Authorities are committed to finish the process of the national stockpile destruction in March 2004, more than one year before the 4 years deadline provided for by the Convention.

In this context I have the great honour and pleasure to inform this august body that in August 2002 the destruction of the entire stockpile of type MAI-2 and MAI-6 was achieved. My delegation will present a detailed update at the informal session on Stockpile Destruction. We call on the other participants to provide updated information on their results in this field, as well as on the specific difficulties they are confronted with.

Romania is maintaining its offer to share with other interested delegations its experience and expertise gained in the field of programming and managing the stockpile destruction. In this context, I would like to express the appreciation to the Swiss Authorities for organizing the Martigny 2002 Training Course for Management of Stockpile Destruction and for the conditions offered to the Romanian participants to present and share in detail our experience.

Mr. President,

The debates in the intersessional Standing Committees have touched also on the issue of the Claymore type mines. While our policy in this field is properly reflected in the 2002 edition of Land Mine Monitor, I would like to reiterate, for the record, that Romania does not produce nor does it hold its stockpiles this type of mines.

Mr. President,

In our capacity of co-chair of the Standing Committee for Stockpile Destruction during the incoming intersessional period, we are fully aware of the important responsability we undertake for consolidating the integrity of the Ottawa Convention, as from March 2003 the 4 years for stockpile destruction come to term for an important number of States Parties.

It is an important milestone for our community and we intend to honor the achievement of this aim by working closely with the States Parties, especially with those who might experience difficulties in this process. We intend to build upon the positive developments and initiatives of the previous co-chairmanships of the Committee, in close cooperation and coordination with our fellow co-chair and co-raportors, as well with you Mr. President.

The concept of the incoming intersessional period for Stockpile Destruction should develop under the signs of Continuity, Early Warning and Enhanced Dialog.

In this sense we believe that the consultative informal mechanism for Stockpile Destruction launched this year will prove a useful tool, not only for identifying specific solutions to specific problems, but, most importantly, an instrument to foster the sense of ownership of the States Parties in fulfilling the destruction of their stockpiles and the other related obligations assumed under the Convention.

This delegation strongly believes, as all others I am sure, that the success of the Convention is to be measured mainly by the responsible and accountable manner in which each and every State Party understands to honor and implement its obligations and commitments, primarily by its own domestic efforts - thus contributing to the collective effort of our community of States to build a World free of anti-personnel mines and to the achievement of the core humanitarian objectives of the instrument.

Mr. President,

This brings me to an other important objective standing during your term of office, which is the initiation of a reflection exercise in view of the preparation of the 2004 Review Conference of the Convention, to be focused mainly on the substance and the direction the Ottawa Convention process will further develop.

As was eloquently expressed by Ms. Jody Williams during the Opening Ceremony yesterday, throughout this process our community must constantly keep at the basis of its reflection the core humanitarian and long-term objectives of the Convention. Constant focus should be given to the situation of victims of anti-personnel mines, their humanitarian assistance, their reintegration in society and the economic and social reconstruction of human settlements in the mine-affected countries.

In our view, these objectives should be seen as fitting in the mainstream contribution of our community of States Parties and Organizations to the global efforts for Sustainable Development. Therefore, we welcome the recent accession to the Convention of Angola and Afghanistan and hope this will provide momentum for the reflection exercise, since along with Cambodia, these are the most mine-affected countries and they are now part of our community.

Mr. President,

Time constraints do not allow my delegation to further elaborate on this very important issue, but I would like to assure that Romania is prepared to participate actively in the future debates on the substance of the 2004 Review Conference and to share its views with you and the participating delegations.

Before concluding I would like to warmly welcome the offer made by Thailand to host the Fifth Meeting of the States Parties and to express the support for the recommendations put forward by the Standing Committees, as well as for the objectives of the President's Program of Action.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Swiss Authorities and the Authorities of the Canton and the City of Geneva for the excellent organization and conditions provided for this meeting.

Thank you, Mr. President

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