Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Meeting of High Contracting Parties

Mines other than anti-personnel mines (MOTAPM)

15 November 2012

Mr President

Australia recognises that mines other than anti-personnel mines (MOTAPM) will continue to have a military utility for many States, particularly those with contested borders.

At the same time, an approach on MOTAPM that provides for measured military use which minimises post-conflict humanitarian harm would be an appropriate focus for the future work of the CCW.

As we stated earlier during the general exchange of views, Australia supports continued discussions within the CCW on MOTAPM, if there is support by all High Contracting Parties to continue this work, at this point in time.

The humanitarian risks of undetectable and persistent MOTAPM to civilians could be countered effectively through the regulation of the use and design of such weapons. For example, further consideration of the humanitarian impact of anti-vehicle mines with sensitive fusing mechanisms, such as low pressure fuses, tripwires, break wires and tilt rods, could be useful.

There could still be areas for fruitful discussions on this issue. In our view, it would be worthwhile to build on the discussions during the open-ended meeting of experts in April this year.

We and the co-sponsors of the initiative at last year’s Review Conference would like to suggest that High Contracting Parties might wish to continue work on MOTAPM in 2013 by identifying and beginning discussions on topics that may warrant further consideration in the CCW.
In our view, this would help give High Contracting Parties greater focus on this issue, such as discussing further the extent of humanitarian harm arising from the use of MOTAPM as well as discussing further the military utility of MOTAPM.

Mr President

We note the legitimate concerns expressed by some delegations that work on MOTAPM should be undertaken in a cost-effective manner.
Australia would support minimising costs associated with holding an open-ended manner meeting of experts. For our country, sending an expert from Australia is not an inexpensive exercise.

We note that the group of experts meetings in 2013 for CCW Protocol V and Amended Protocol II have been agreed to earlier this week. We would suggest one cost effective approach which the Chair could consider exploring, which is whether it would be possible to hold an experts meeting on MOTAPM during the three working days either immediately before or after those meetings.

Thank you.