ANTI-PERSONNEL MINE BAN CONVENTION THIRD PLEDGING CONFERENCE
STATEMENT OF AUSTRALIA
Australia is committed to supporting the implementation of this Convention and other international action towards a world free of landmines and other explosive remnants of war. We are pleased to confirm that we will continue our long-standing support of the effective operation of this Convention, in a range of different ways.
We will continue to make an annual voluntary contribution of AUD 140,000 (CHF 103,000) to the Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit under our current 2016-2019 funding arrangement.
We will continue to serve as Sponsorship Coordinator for this Convention and we will continue to make an annual contribution of AUD 35,000 (CHF 26,000) to the Sponsorship Programme, through to 2019.
Our contributions to the implementation of this Convention are just one element of our broader contributions to global mine action. Last year Australia’s total expenditure on mine action was approximately AUD 5 million (CHF 3.7 million).
Australia funds international agencies working globally across all areas of mine action including in mine clearance, risk education and victim assistance including the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Handicap International.
We also support specific bilateral programmes supporting clearance work and other aspects of mine action in affected countries. In June 2016 we contributed AUD 5 million (CHF 3.7 million) to UNMAS’s activities in Iraq. We will provide a further AUD 11 million (CHF 8 million) to UNMAS’s Iraq project over the next three years as part of our AUD 100 million (CHF 73.5 million) commitment to humanitarian relief and stabilisation of Iraq.
We have a five-year, AUD 9 million (CHF 6.6 million) project in Cambodia, building on a long partnership with that country’s peak body for monitoring and coordinating mine action activities, the Cambodian Mine Action and Victims Assistance Authority (CMAA). In 2017 we completed a three-year AUD 3 million (CHF 2.2 million) project to clear unexploded ordnance in Palau.
We have also made a range of contributions in recent years to victim assistance efforts, including providing AUD 1.9 million (CHF 1.4 million) to ICRC MoveAbility for 2015-2018, AUD 600,000 (CHF 441,000) to Humanity & Inclusion (formerly Handicap International) for 2016-2018, supporting the Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia and producing cross-conventional Guidance on an Integrated Approach to Victim Assistance.
We strongly encourage all States Parties to contribute, as they are able, to the critical work of the ISU, the Sponsorship Programme, and direct mine action through national, bilateral and global programs.
Thank you Madam President.