Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) Intersessional Meeting


17 April 2013

We wish to thank the Coordinators for their preparations for this session on clearance and risk reduction. We offer you our full support.

Australia is supportive of the obligations of the Convention and encourages all states to clear cluster munitions contaminated areas as soon as possible after active hostilities have ceased.

We recognise that clearance of cluster munition remnants is challenging due to the danger, cost and technical capacities required to survey, detect, clear and destroy cluster munition remnants.

At the 2MSP, we were pleased to present a working paper, entitled the “Application of all available methods for the efficient implementation of Article 4” which was endorsed by the 2MSP. Its recommendations included encouraging States Parties, where they have not yet done so, to develop National Mine Action Standards, consistent with the International Mine Action Standards, on land release methodologies and techniques.

We thank the 3MSP President for his efforts in producing the draft working paper on Compliance with Article 4, seeking to build on Australia’s paper. We welcome GICHD’s statement this morning suggesting that the amended International Mine Action Standard on Land Release be added to this draft working paper.

We will consider this draft working paper carefully, provide feedback to Norway, and look forward to further discussions on this important issue. At this stage, however, we would like to caution against setting out any guidance or recommendations that might be overly prescriptive or go beyond the obligations as set out in the Convention. In our view, it would be helpful to continue to focus on practical guidance that would allow affected states flexibility to achieve early land release, efficiently and as appropriate to their situations, and consistent with their obligations under the Convention.

We look forward to the Coordinators’ paper on clearance and risk reduction to be submitted at the 4MSP later this year.

Thank you.