Norway is seeking the presidency over the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, often referred to as simply the Mine Ban Convention, which was adopted in Oslo in 1997. With 164 states parties, the Mine Ban Convention is amongst the most universal disarmament treaties.
“The Mine Ban Convention is a central component in our collective efforts to address the unacceptable humanitarian consequences of anti-personnel landmines,” said Ambassador Hans Brattskar, President-nominee, during the Intersessional Meetings of the Convention last week.
Norway also presided over the Second Review Conference in 2009, the Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World, held in Colombia. Moreover, Norway is among the top five donors to mine action globally, contributing around USD 40 million to the sector last year and supporting mine action in 20 countries worldwide.
“The universalisation and effective implementation of the Convention has been a key priority for Norway since the adoption of the Convention. We believe the Fourth Review Conference will be an important milestone in fulfilling the objectives of the Convention and we would be honoured by the opportunity to preside over it,” said Ambassador Brattskar during the Intersessional Meetings.
The states parties to the Convention normally meet every year during Meetings of States Parties and Intersessional Meetings. However, every fifth year the Meeting of States Parties is replaced by a Review Conference. During a Review Conference, the status of the Convention, the progress of its implementation is reviewed and a course for future implementation of the Convention is staked out.
During the Intersessional Meetings, Ambassador Brattskar informed the State Parties that Norway is planning for the Fourth Review Conference to take place in Oslo at the end of November 2019. “As we prepare for the Review Conference, we will continue emphasising close cooperation with affected states, other states, international organizations, operators and civil society,” stressed Brattskar.
Norway aims to use the Review Conference to bring renewed political attention to the Convention and to strengthen its implementation in all its pillars. A lot has been achieved in mine action since the Convention entered into force, but new conflicts and new use, leading to an increase in the number of victims, call for renewed support and efforts.
A continued focus on a mine free world by 2025 will be one of the key issues that will shape Norway’s work towards and beyond the Fourth Review Conference. This will also help pave the way for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Moreover, Norway is conscious that a mine free world does not mean a world without landmine victims and survivors. Therefore, continued victim assistance is key. Ambassador Brattskar also stressed that Norway will include the gender dimension in all efforts and initiatives.
Delegations at the Intersessional Meetings welcomed Norway’s initial thoughts and ideas for the next Review Conference with applause. It is expected that Norway will begin its presidency at the conclusion of the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties at the end of November this year.
Also check out the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention’s website for the press release on Norway seeking the presidency of the Fourth Review Conference and more information about the Intersessional Meetings 7 – 8 June 2018.