Thematic Debate on Conventional Weapons


H.E. Mr. Doru-Romulus COSTEA

New York - 21 October 2004 -

Mr. President,

Allow me to begin by reaffirming Romania's full endorsement of the yesterday's statement presented on behalf of the European Union by Ambassador Chris Sanders of the Netherlands. For the sake of effectiveness aimed at by all the members of the First Committee, I will be brief and facts- and-figures-oriented in my intervention.

Mr. President,

In reviewing the most important developments that took place this year in my country in the area of conventional arms, by far the most remarkable achievement was the completion of the destruction of anti-personnel landmines (APLs). An official ceremony organized on 25 March, significantly entitled "Romania free of anti-personnel mines", put an end to the process of eliminating one million APLs, one year ahead of the deadline set forth by the Ottawa Convention, and just a couple of days before the fifth anniversary of its entry into force.

The month prior to this national accomplishment, on 2 - 3 February, Romania hosted a Reay Group Workshop on "Progress in meeting the aims of the Ottawa Convention in South Eastern Europe". On this occasion, representatives of the countries in the region, of donor states, and of international structures involved in mine action assessed progresses such as the universalization of the Convention in our region and the stage of the stockpile destruction, as well as challenges yet to be faced, especially with respect to victim assistance, resource mobilization, national implementation.

Mr. President,

We do think that all this makes for concrete and significant evidence as to our region's commitment to the goals of the Ottawa Convention to go on record appropriately at the "Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World". It is also our strong belief that the lessons learned in this respect and more specifically in promoting regional co-operation are quite useful for other regions that are still struggling to rid themselves of this murderous legacy of past conflicts.

Mr. President,

Romania also attaches particular importance to developments under the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) and I would like to take this opportunity to announce that we are in the process of preparing the internal package necessary for the ratification of Protocol V to the CCW on Explosive Remnants of War. Similar interest we pay to the developments with regard to the implementation of the UN Programme of Action on SALW. While taking national action with respect to SALW and ammunition surpluses destruction, marking, record-keeping, export control and tracing, we strongly hope that all these issues will be soon debated and agreed in the UN framework, in order to eradicate the scourge of this type of weapons and eliminate the humanitarian unjustifiable sufferings they cause.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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