Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva
Switzerland, Liechtenstein

Statement822

Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention

17th Meeting of States Parties

Agenda Item 9c: Cooperation and Assistance

29 November 2018

Statement of Australia

Australia recognises the challenges faced by affected countries and is committed to providing support to these countries to help them meet their obligations under the Convention.

Australia thanks the Committee on International Cooperation and Assistance for the hard work undertaken since the 16th Meeting of States Parties.  It is commendable that the Committee has convened 10 meetings and engaged a diverse range of stakeholders to promote  the individualised approach.

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.

Last year Australia’s total expenditure on mine action was over $11.6 million.

Australia’s has a three-pronged approach to providing support

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.

Through bilateral programmes, we fund clearance work in affected countries.  We contributed:

  • $4 million to UNMAS’s humanitarian and stabilisation activities in Syria  as part of Australia’s $220 million Syria Crisis Humanitarian and Resilience Package.
  •  $3 million to United Nations Mine Action Service’s project in Iraq as part of Australia’s Iraq Humanitarian and Stabilisation Package
  • an ongoing four year mine action activity in Cambodia which was valued at  $2 million last financial year
  • $550,000 to the Mines Advisory Group project in Sri Lanka to help Sri Lanka meet its obligations under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (it acceded in December 2017)

Australia also supports the effective operation of the Convention through our role as sponsorship coordinator and an annual contribution of $35,000 to the sponsorship programme. Australia extends its thanks to the other states parties that have contributed to the sponsorship programme.

The programme has enabled delegates from various states to attend this meeting. We encourage states parties who are able to contribute to this programme to do so in order to facilitate the full participation of all states parties in the operation of the Convention.

Australia also makes an annual voluntary contribution of $140,000 to the Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit.

The challenge of identifying the needs of affected states parties is a challenge for us all. Australia fully endorses the conclusion of the Committee on Assistance and Cooperation that cooperation and assistance is key to meeting our shared goal of a mine free world by 2025

Thank you.