Sommaire: EU Presidency Statement - Assistance on Mine Action (26 October 2005: New York)
EU statement on item 27: Assistance on Mine Action, by Ambassador Adam Thomson, UK Mission to the UN, United Nations General Assembly - Sixtieth Session, Fourth Committee, New York
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Country Croatia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, EFTA countries Iceland and Liechtenstein, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, align themselves with this declaration.
The European Union fully shares the United Nation's vision for a world free of the threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war. International mine action efforts not only help to achieve that worthy goal, they also help contribute towards peace and stability globally and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Consequently, mine action remains an important political priority for the EU, with €384 million allocated for such activities since 2003. This commitment is further exemplified through the Community's multi-annual programme and strategy for 2005 to 2007, as well as through the EU's continued and strong support for the Ottawa Convention.
Universalisation of the Ottawa Convention remains an important goal for the European Union, and we are pleased that 147 States have agreed to be bound by its provisions. The EU is further encouraged by the call, at the UN World Summit, for States Parties to the Convention to implement fully their respective obligations. In this respect, the EU welcomes the unqualified commitment of States Parties, at the First Review Conference in 2004, to pursue full and effective promotion and implementation of the Convention, including through the Nairobi Action Plan for 2005 to 2009. We look forward to the 6th meeting of States Parties in Croatia later this year, as a further means of measuring the progress made towards the realisation of the Convention's humanitarian goals.
The European Union also welcomes progress made in strengthening the provisions of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, or CCW, in particular with respect to the adoption of a fifth Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War. The EU calls on all States Parties to ratify and implement the Protocol as soon as possible and to report on their progress in ratification.
I referred a moment ago to the European Community's multi-annual programme and strategy for 2005 to 2007, which sets the ambitious goal of a world where no one will be injured or killed by landmines. To achieve this, the Community will devote itself to furthering and strengthening international assistance in mine action by stimulating the implementation of the Ottawa Convention, by reducing the threat posed by landmines, and by assisting socially, economically and medically the local populations affected and their landmine victims. The Community's strategy represents a common platform for all EU Member States, a catalyst of their assistance and a complement to bilateral efforts.
The European Union greatly appreciates the wide variety of stakeholders engaged in mine action activities, and would like to underline the importance of co-operation and co-ordination in order to avoid duplication and to ensure the most effective utilisation of resources, building on national capacity, where possible. The EU welcomes mechanisms, such as the United Nations Inter-Agency Co-ordination Group and the Steering Committee for Mine Action, that help build consensus around policy, strategy and operational issues.
Finally, Mr President,
The European Union has been pleased to work with delegations on a draft resolution on "Assistance in Mine Action", for adoption under this item. We thank all delegations for their engagement and flexibility on the text, and hope that this can be adopted by consensus at a future meeting of this Committee. The resolution not only draws attention to an issue that tragically affects thousands of people world-wide, but it also helps demonstrate our collective resolve to address this challenge through international commitments and collaboration.
* Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process