Thank you, Mr. President,
While the accomplishments of stockpile destruction have been a success story of the implementation of the convention, there appears to have been scant progress or activity in this area since the 19MSP. The obligation applies to only three States Parties currently. The remaining 161either have completed their obligation or had no stockpiles to destroy.
Once again, we express our great disappointment that Greece and Ukraine remain in violation of Article 4 after failing to meet their four-year deadline.
Neither state has indicated when they will fulfill this obligation or made much progress over the past few years. The Oslo Action Plan urges states that have failed to meet their stockpile destruction deadlines to “present a time-bound plan for completion and urgently proceed with implementation as soon as possible in a transparent manner.”
Ukraine has not submitted an annual update of its transparency report for 2021. As it faces responding to an invasion of its territory, there is a natural concern over the safety and security of the 3.36 million PFM-type antipersonnel mines remaining in its stockpile.
According to its transparency update for 2021, Greece has neither destroyed any stockpiled mines nor consumed any of its over 5,000 retained mines.
We appeal to the President, the Committee on Cooperative Compliance and all States Parties to consult and work together to identify creative solutions on how to support Greece and Ukraine to complete their stock destruction and come back into compliance as soon as possible.
Furthermore, Tuvalu must provide an initial Article 7 transparency report for the treaty, to formally confirm that it does not possess stockpiled antipersonnel mines; its deadline was 28 August 2012.
Mr. President, I will devote the remainder of this statement to the issue of mines retained for training. Many States Parties continue retaining mines under the Article 3 exception, but never use them for the permitted research and training purposes. As this continues to be the case year after year after year, it appears that the mines in fact are simply being stockpiled. All these states should either utilize the mines as permitted or destroy them urgently.
The Oslo Action Plan states that if a State Party does not provide information on Article 3 obligations for two consecutive years, “the President will assist and engage with the States Parties concerned...” As many as 48 States Parties have not consumed any retained mines or provided any updated information for at least two consecutive years.
According to the latest information, 63 States Parties have reported that they retain a combined total of more than 135,000 antipersonnel mines for training and research purposes. A total of 30 States retain more than 1,000 mines with Sri Lanka, Finland, and Bangladesh possessing over 10,000 each.
Another 100 States Parties do not retain any antipersonnel mines, including 41 states that stockpiled or retained mines in the past.