Statements

Sixth Annual Conference of the States Parties
to the Amended Protocol II to the CCW

STATEMENT BY

H.E. Mr. Doru COSTEA
AMBASSADOR
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF ROMANIA

Geneva - November 17, 2004 -

Mr. President,

On behalf of the delegation of Romania, I would like to congratulate you on the assumption of the highest function of the Sixth Annual Conference of the States Parties to the Amended Protocol II to the CCW Convention and to assure of our full support and cooperation in discharging your duties.

Mr. President,

Romania aligned herself with the statement made on behalf of the European Union thus there is no need to repeat what has just been said by the distinguished Ambassador Chris Sanders of the Dutch Presidency. The reason for taking the floor today is for marking in such a formal setting Romania's full-fledged membership, since according to the provisions of the CCW Convention, our country became party to the Amended Protocol II on the 22 February 2004. It is also an opportunity to announce that we have recently submitted our first national annual report, to be soon circulated as an official document of the Conference.

Mr. President,

Although a new member of the family of the States Parties to the Amended Protocol II of the CCW Convention, Romania has always observed the norms of the international humanitarian law, in general, and particularly those of the Amended Protocol II. We consider this instrument a significant component of the CCW, and, at the same time, as a complementary means to the Ottawa Convention in our common effort to reduce the human senseless suffering that results from using mines, booby-traps and other similar devices in armed conflict.

Regarding the provisions of Article 13 para. 4.c., we can report that, at the end of the destruction of the entire stockpile of anti-personnel mines, in March 2004, all other types of mines and devices owned by the Romanian Armed Forces fully comply with the technical provisions of the Amended Protocol II. The national legal framework (according to Article 13, para.4.d.) is already in place by means of the Law (no. 287/2003) on the ratification of the Protocol, the Law (204/ 2000) on the ratification of the Ottawa Convention, the Government Decision (no. 1326/2002) on the implementation of the Ottawa Convention and the legal provisions on export controls. We stand ready to further contribute to international cooperation programmes for mine detection and clearance, including in terms of technical assistance and information and expertise sharing.

Mr. President,

There is one last but essential topic that I would like to touch upon in connection with the national implementation of the Amended Protocol II to the CCW Convention, respectively the dissemination of information to the armed forces. The very first Office on such issues was organised within the Ministry of National Defence in July 1990. In October 1990, Bucharest hosted the first regional course entitled "Introduction to the International Humanitarian Law", attended by 250 military officers. In 1991, the IHL has been included as a distinct discipline in the curricula for military training. Last December, we marked ten years since the establishment of the Military Center for Humanitarian International Law. The celebration was not an aim in itself, but an important moment to assess past activities and the way ahead. Among several activities conducted during this period, I would like to mention the bilateral visits and exchanges of experience with Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany, Poland, Republic of Moldova, USA, Belgium, the workshops and training courses organised together with the International Committee of the Red Cross or in the NATO/PfP framework the translation and publication of several books on IHL connected to the activities of military and civil servants. This former aspect is of particular relevance when we think about the involvement of Romanian military personnel in peacekeeping operations and demining activities. The most recent products of the Center are a manual on principles of IHL, to be published this month, and a handbook on the main international treaties stipulating the use of certain weapons.

Mr. President,

I would like to end my statement by assuring all countries in need for assistance and cooperation that Romania stands ready to work together towards eradicating the negative indiscriminate effects of the use of the weapons banned by the Amended Protocol II to the CCW Convention.

Thank you for your attention.


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