Last updated 18th of September 2018 // Remarks by Ambassador Hans Brattskar, Permanent Representative of Norway to the UN in Geneva, on the coming Presidency of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.
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Thank you, Ambassador Dalil for your leadership and all the preparations for the Meeting of State Parties. It is a true pleasure to brief you as president-designate on this particular day. 21 years ago today, on the 18th of September 1997, more than 90 states agreed to adopt the Mine Ban Convention at a diplomatic conference in Oslo. The universalization and effective implementation of the Convention has been a key priority for Norway ever since. We believe the Fourth Review Conference will be an important milestone in the life of the Convention and look forward to welcoming all of you in Oslo for the Review Conference next year. Let me briefly outline our thoughts on the preparatory process for the Fourth Review Conference.
As I informed you at the Intersessional meetings in May, we are planning for the Fourth Review Conference to take place in Oslo in the week starting 25th of November 2019. Our aim is to use the Fourth Review Conference to bring renewed political attention to the Convention and to strengthen its implementation in all its pillars. Therefore, we will be inviting high-level participation from your capitals to the Review Conference. We plan for the Review Conference to agree on a political declaration. We will also adopt a new plan of action, one that can guide our joint work for the next five years like the Maputo Action Plan has been our guide since 2014.
With the support of the ISU, we have scheduled dates for the 2019 intersessional meetings, to take place here in Geneva on 22 – 24 May 2019. We will be setting aside more time for informal conversations, raise certain thematic issues and to generate new ideas towards the Review Conference during the Intersessional Programme.
We are planning for two formal half-day preparatory meetings in advance of the Review Conference. The first preparatory meeting will take place in conjunction with the intersessional meetings and the second will take place one year from today, on 18th September 2019. As President, I will of course be consulting broadly with States Parties, civil society and other important stakeholders throughout the entire year in the spirit of the Convention’s partnership approach. I emphasize again that our door will be open and encourage you to approach me or my team on any issue related to the implementation and universalization of the Convention.
I look forward to giving you a detailed outline of our priorities for the Presidency at the end of the Meeting of States Parties, but allow me to share some preliminary thoughts with you now. I believe we need a continued focus on achieving a mine free world by 2025, even as we recognize that our work will have to continue beyond that date as well. The Review Conference should help us make an even stronger push to finish the job in as many countries as possible. We are conscious that a mine free world does not mean a world without landmine victims and survivors, and we will incorporate the need for continued victim assistance into our work. A gender dimension will underlie all our efforts and initiatives. We intend to approach the work as president through a protection lens: this Convention is an important tool to ensure the protection of civilians from landmines during and after conflict. New use of landmines and the increase in the number of victims over the past two years reminds us of the serious humanitarian concern for the indiscriminate impact on civilian lives which brought about this Convention in the first place. Together we will have to consider very carefully what can be done to address the continued challenge of landmines so that this Convention can keep on saving lives in the years to come.