Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


CCW Meeting of High Contracting Parties

21 November 2018

Agenda Item 7: General Exchange of Views

Australian Statement

Mr President

Australia remains committed to the CCW and its universalisation of the Convention and its protocols and encourage all States who have not become States Parties to do so.

Australia agrees that the CCW is the appropriate forum for continued consideration of the issue of lethal autonomous weapons systems.  We thank Ambassador Amandeep Gill for his skilful chairmanship of the GGE on LAWS, and look forward to the discussion of GGE recommendations.  We also look forward to the endorsement by this meeting of the recommended continuation of the GGE’s mandate in 2018.

Mr President

We support efforts to minimise the impact of unexploded ordnance on civilian populations.

We also agree there must be limits on the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas. We encourage States to adopt robust targeting processes, which strictly adhere to existing international humanitarian law to be the appropriate way of addressing this issue.  We encourage states to develop and implement comprehensive targeting processes that apply these principles.  In 2012, the United Nations Secretary General urged all High Contracting Parties to explore all possible avenues for ensuring that these weapons no longer harm civilians.

Mr President

Australia continues to support the CCW Sponsorship Programme.  It is an important mechanism for ensuring the broadest possible participation in the meetings of the Convention. We encourage all States Parties with the means to do so to support the Programme.

Mr President

The current financial state of the CCW is of great concern to Australia. We urge the adoption of new financial rules, and call on all States Parties to fulfil their financial obligations in order to facilitate access to the support and expertise of an ISU.

Thank you, Mr President.