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Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War
Clearance and the Article 4 generic electronic template
Statement by Australia
13 November 2012
Australia would like to thank the Coordinator for their work on clearance and the Article 4 generic electronic template under Protocol V.
Australia takes seriously its obligations and responsibilities under Article 4 of Protocol V.
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) proactively tracks and records the use of explosive ordnance. Detailed electronic reports are maintained by all relevant commands and populated with information from Australian military forces in the field. This information is then transmitted to ADF command headquarters in the theatre of operations, and back to Australia.
The ADF operational-level headquarters in Australia maintains a comprehensive register that includes reporting of ERW incidents. These reports include, amongst other things, information on any actions taken to mark, clear, remove and/or destroy these items, and their location.
Australia notes that the technical annex provides best practice guidance on the type of information required to enable the reporting and recording of information related to explosive hazards. Australia strives to provide information of this quality in its reporting. However, the best quality information is of little value if the transfer occurs too late to action; especially if information transfer is delayed by the information system architecture.
The generic reporting tool provides guidance on the minimum information that should be provided, where available and practicable, and a template for recording this information. It does not provide guidance on the information architecture to enable the rapid transfer and data ingestion to enable the use of explosive hazard information by all parties. Australia supports efforts to develop an open architecture for the rapid transfer of information related to explosive hazards and explosive remnants of war.
Australia supports your recommendation on addressing capacity building in the areas of surveillance, clearance, removal and destruction of ERW at the national and community level.
Australia is proud to have assisted other States’ forces in performing clearance, removal, and destruction of existing explosive remnants of war from previous conflicts.
One example is the ADF’s Operation RENDER SAFE. This operation has provided explosive ordnance demolition assistance for the eradication of explosive remnants of war, primarily to Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Nauru and Kiribati. This operation also assists Pacific nations through explosive ordnance demolition training initiatives to develop explosive hazard awareness to allow these nations to develop their own independent explosive ordnance demolition capabilities.
In addition, during the 2011 reporting period, the Australian Defence Organisation provided explosive hazards awareness training to Thailand and plans to continue this capacity development training out to 2016. The ADF also offered Explosive Ordnance training courses to PNG, New Zealand and Malaysia; provided assistance for African countries to perform clearance, removal and destruction of ERW; and provided specialist equipment to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.
Australia will continue to offer such technical assistance and training on clearance, removal and destruction to affected countries to help eliminate the civilian suffering and impacts of ERW.