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Invitation Letter

15 April 2005

To:     The Permanent Missions to the United Nations in Geneva and New York of the States Parties to the Convention
 The Permanent Missions to the United Nations in Geneva and New York of the States not parties to the Convention
 Interested non-governmental and international organizations

Dear colleagues and friends,

On behalf of the Co-Chairs of the Standing Committees established by the States Parties to the Convention, it is our pleasure to invite you to participate in the 2005 meetings of the Standing Committees. These meetings will take place as follows:

13-17 June 2005
Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD)
Room A, avenue de la Paix 7bis (WMO

The week of meetings in June will be significant because it will be our first opportunity to discuss the Convention since the First Review Conference. You will recall that at the First Review Conference, the States Parties adopted the document Ending the suffering caused by anti-personnel mines: Nairobi Action Plan 2005-2009. In doing so, the States Parties and others who share the States Parties’ aims were urged “to undertake all necessary actions at the national, regional and international levels to implement this action plan.” As well, the States Parties concluded inter alia that from 2005 to 2009:

1.       the pursuit of universal adherence to the Convention will remain an important object of cooperation among States Parties;

2.       they would ensure the expeditious and timely destruction of all stockpiled anti-personnel mines under their or jurisdiction or control;

3.       successfully meeting deadlines for clearing mined areas will be the most significant challenge to be addressed during this period and will require intensive efforts by mine-affected States Parties and those in a position to assist them;

4.       consistent with the Convention’s vital promise to mine victims, the States parties will enhance care, rehabilitation and reintegration efforts;

5.       fulfilling their obligations will require substantial political, financial and material commitments;

6.       transparency and the effective information exchange will be crucial to fulfilling their obligations;

7.       they will continue to be guided by the knowledge that individually and collectively they are responsible for ensuring compliance with the Convention; and,

8.       the States Parties’ implementation mechanisms will remain important, particularly as key means to implement the Nairobi Action Plan.

The Co-Chairs have developed agendas that ensure ample time for discussions on matters pertaining to these conclusions. In particular, the Co-Chairs have emphasised the importance of participation by States Parties which are in the process of clearing mined areas, destroying stockpiled mines or assisting mine victims. The enclosed Guide to the week of Standing Committee meetings contains valuable suggestions for these States Parties in order that they can maximize opportunities for participation. In reviewing this guide and the enclosed Agenda for the week of Standing Committee meetings, please note that in keeping with past practice the programme does not incorporate a general exchange of views. As in the past, it is essential in June that we get down to work on Monday morning, focusing on that day and throughout the week on key aspects of implementation.

In preparing for the June meetings you may wish to note that the Nairobi Action Plan provides some suggestions regarding the composition of delegations:

  • In action #38, States Parties and organizations are encouraged to include mine victims on their delegations as a means of ensuring effective integration of victims in the work of the Convention.

  • In action #39, States Parties – particularly those with the greatest number of mine victims – and relevant organizations are encouraged to include health, rehabilitation and social services professionals and officials on their delegations.

  • In action #47, the international development community – including national development cooperation agencies where possible and as appropriate – is encouraged to play a significantly expanded role in the work of the Convention, given that mine action for many States Parties is fundamental to the advancement of the UN Millennium Development Goals.

We would ask that you register for the June meetings on-line at www.gichd.ch or by faxing completed registration forms to the GICHD by 7 June 2005. Should you have any questions about the agendas or if you wish to indicate in advance your intention to intervene on particular items, please contact the Implementation Support Unit (isu(at)gichd.ch ) or relevant Co-Chairs.

We look forward to seeing you at the meetings in June.

Your sincerely,

Wolfgang Petritsch
Ambassador and Permanent Representative
Permanent Mission of Austria,
President of the First Review Conference
Stephan Nellen
Ambassador and Director
Geneva International Centre for
Humanitarian Demining