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Intersessional Work Programme Background

The Intersessional Work Programme was created by the States Parties at the First Meeting of the States Parties in May 1999. At this meeting, the States Parties recognized the importance of having Standing Committees of Experts in between "sessions", on issues related to the operation of the Convention.

Subsequently, on the basis of a President's Paper, the States Parties established the Intersessional Work Programme, made up of the five committees each meeting twice between Meetings of the States Parties.

Some excerpts from the President's Paper that served as the foundation for the establishment of the Intersessional Work Programme include the following:

  • That the intersessional program was established to ensure the systematic, effective implementation of the Convention through a more regularized programme of work.
  • That informal, open-ended intersessional working groups were created to engage a broad international community for the purpose of advancing the achievement of the humanitarian objectives of the Convention.
  • That these working groups would facilitate in-depth considerations of mine action issues by all interested parties at meetings which complement and build upon each other in a structured and systematic way.
  • And that the aim of the exercise was to organize the work within the framework of the Convention in a way which promotes continuity, openness, transparency, inclusiveness and a cooperative spirit.

At the Second Meeting of the States Parties in September 2000, on the basis of President's Paper on Revisions to the Intersessional Work, the States Parties made some adjustments.

Another important related development that took place at the Second Meeting of the States Parties was the establishment of a Sponsorship Programme to ensure more widespread representation at meetings of the Convention.

At the Fourth Meeting, the States Parties recognized the continuing importance of the Intersessional Work Programme, expressed that on the basis of the President's Paper on the Intersessional Work Programme as contained in Annex II, and should proceed in a manner consistent with the principles that have well served the Programme to date, particularly the informal, inclusive and cooperative nature of the process.

This President's Paper identified these areas most directly related to the core humanitarian objectives of the Convention as being the following:

  • to destroy anti-personnel mines that remain in stockpiles;
  • to clear areas containing anti-personnel mines;
  • to provide assistance to landmine survivors; and,
  • to ensure universal acceptance of the ban on anti-personnel mines.

At the Third Review Conference, the States Parties "agreed that informal Intersessional Meetings will be held each year, preferably after the 30 April deadline for submitting transparency information, and that they could comprise a thematic segment and a preparatory segment. It further stated that "These meetings need not be more than two days long, permitting them to be scheduled during the same week as the meetings of other Conventions or activities".

In addition, the Conference agreed to establish the following mechanisms, thereby replacing the five Standing Committees established by decisions taken at previous Meetings of the States Parties and Review Conferences:

  • The Committee on Article 5 Implementation
  • The Committee on Cooperative Compliance
  • The Committee on Victim Assistance
  • The Committee on Enhancing Cooperation and Assistance

At the Fourth Review Conference, the States Parties agreed to "maintain the informal nature of the Intersessional Meetings and consider on an annual basis the option of either a) adding a thematic segment during the two-day intersessional meetings or b) adding a day of thematic discussions to allow topics that are relevant to the Convention to be addressed, including the status of the implementation of the Oslo Action Plan. The President will consider and decide on these options in consultations with the Coordinating Committee."