GENEVA - 15 May 2003 -

Mr. Co-Chair,
Distinguished participants,

At the outset, I would like to join other speakers in congratulating the State Parties of the Convention, which had completed their obligations under the Article 4 provisions. A special token of our appreciation goes to the States Parties that contributed to the successful achievement of the March 1, 2003, deadlines. March 1 of this year confirmed the validity and integrity of the Ottawa Convention and the commitments of the State parties to the objective of the total elimination of anti-personnel mines.

Mr. Co-Chair,

I would like also to take this opportunity to congratulate the states that had ratified/acceded recently the Mine Ban Treaty, and welcome them in our community. My delegation takes note with satisfaction of positive evolutions related to the Ottawa Convention in the region of South-Eastern Europe. The ratification of the Convention by Turkey increase the degree the universalization of our legal instrument in the region and provides conditions aimed at the destruction of an important number of anti-personnel mines. It is our hope that both Turkey and Greece will deposit soon their instruments of ratification. It is our sincere hope that their example will be followed as soon as possible by the Union of Serbia and Montenegro, and by so to mark the adherence to the Ottawa Convention of all the states of South - Eastern Europe. In this way conditions will be set to declare the region free of stocks of anti-personnel mines by the year 2008.

Romania is committed to work actively towards this goal along with the States Parties from the region, including in its current capacity of Chairman-in Office of the Reay Group for Mine Action in South-Eastern Europe.

Mr. Co-Chair,

I would like now to provide a very short up-date on some relevant elements of the stockpile destruction process in Romania:

  • the national annul report in compliance with Article 7 of the Convention was provided in April and covers the period of time from April 8, 2002, to April 8, 2003
  • by the time of the issue of the national report a total number of 616.774 anti-personnel mines have been destroyed
  • the stockpile destruction activities continue in the parameters set by the National Plan, that provides for the date of March 1, 2004 as the domestic deadline for completion of the Stockpile destruction process, more then 1 year ahead of the deadline set for by the Convention
  • in the report of this year is indicated the decommissioning of the industrial production lines for anti-personnel mines
  • a total number of 4000 mines will be retained according to provisions of Article 3 of the Convention.

Mr. Co-Chair,

Before concluding, I would like also to signal our concern on how the annual national reports of the states parties are introduced to the UN website. As of last week a number of national reports, including the report of Romania, were not accessible through the UN website, despite the fact that an electronic version was provided along with the formal notification. We are convinced that a more efficient management and a more rapid processing of these documents to the website would be useful in our work.

Thank you, Mr. Co-Chair

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