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)

14 November 2013


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. However, an approach on MOTAPM that either increases detectability or restricts use and focuses on minimising post-conflict humanitarian harm would be an appropriate focus for the future work of the CCW.

We appreciate the presentation this afternoon by SIPRI and GICHD of its study into the humanitarian and development impacts of anti-vehicle mines. As these preliminary results demonstrated, undetectable and persistent MOTAPM can pose humanitarian risks to civilians. This risk could be countered effectively through regulation of the use and design of such weapons.

The simple solution to addressing detectability is to ensure all MOTAPM have a minimum metal content along the lines established within Amended Protocol II for anti-personnel mines. This would be relatively simple to implement for all future systems. Understandably, this does not address existing stocks.

Australia supports continued discussions on MOTAPM if there is support by all States Parties to continue this work, at this point in time. We regret that there could not be agreement for further work on this issue last year. Nonetheless we continue to see value in keeping this issue on the CCW’s agenda. We would look forward to seeing the full results of the SIPRI and GICHD study.

I thank you Mr President.