Thank you, Mr. President,
The ICBL commends Sri Lanka for completing its stockpile destruction program late this summer, almost a year ahead of its June 2022 deadline.
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. Furthermore, 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.”
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.
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.
Mr. President, the continued low compliance rate for transparency reporting has negatively impacted tracking compliance with Article 3, with less than half of States Parties submitting updates for calendar year 2020.
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. Chile joined this latter group after initially retaining over 28,000 antipersonnel mines. We encourage all those currently retaining mines to follow Chile’s example.