Cooperating to implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions

the country coalition concept

Location

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
United Nations Conference Center , Meeting Room A
Rajadamnern Nok Avenue
Bangkok 10200, Thailand

Date

16-17 March 2017

Landmines and cluster munitions’ survivors : A testimony by Khun Wiboonrat Chanchoo (Thailand)

Read the testimony

The closed seminar on “Cooperating to implement the Convention on Cluster Munitions: the country coalition concept” was held in conjunction with the Permanent Representation of Germany to the Conference on Disarmament. It was funded by the European Union and jointly organised by the European External Action Service through the EU Non-proliferation Consortium, and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP).

It took place on the premises of the UNESCAP, Bangkok, Thailand, on March 16 and 17, 2017. The participants included both government officials, International organizations representatives and non-governmental experts from the South-East Asia region, the EU member states and beyond.

The purpose of this seminar was to discuss future developments impacting the implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). It focused on the concept of establishing “country coalitions” (i.e. with a country specific focus) as a means to enhance international cooperation and thus support the implementation of the Convention in South-East Asia. A coordinated approach concerning destruction and clearance (including mapping and securing of contaminated areas) of cluster munitions and assisting victims, involving donor states and operators will support States Parties to fulfil their commitments under the Convention. Lastly, a country specific approach is required to help ensure progress in implementation of the CCM.

Against this backdrop the concept of establishing “country coalitions” as a means to enhance international cooperation and thus promote the CCM seems to have considerable potential. The South-East Asia region is the location of the heaviest cluster munition contamination globally. It includes both States Parties and Non-States Parties to the CCM, including countries who are addressing contamination, stockpile destruction, etc. Within the region, Lao PDR, Vietnam and Cambodia are all dealing with very high levels of contamination. Lao PDR has the highest levels of contamination.

The seminar consisted of five sessions:

Session 1 offered to all the countries of the region the opportunity to share their perception of the issue (risks and threats, entry into force and implementation of the CCM, etc.).

Session 2 focused on cooperation and assistance by introducing the country coalition concept, discussing and refining this approach. The relevant actors for such a coalition would include representatives of: the affected country, donor states, international organizations, operators on the ground and other relevant experts, such as the GICHD.

Session 3 addressed the issue of the cooperation and assistance by introducing the country coalition concept.

Session 4 and 5 explored the practical implications of the country coalition concept on the challenge of article 4 obligations and on victim assistance.

Thursday 16 March 2017

09:00 - 09:15 Welcome and Introduction – Setting the scene
Michael Biontino (Germany)
Frank Meeussen (EEAS/EU)
Benjamin Hautecouverture (France/EUNPC)
09:15 – 11:15 Session 1: Challenges of Cluster Munition Remnants contamination in the region
Chair & Introduction: Megan Burke (CMC)
Cambodia
Lao PDR
Malaysia
The Philippines
Sri Lanka
Thailand
11:15 – 11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 – 12:45 Session 2: Introducing the country coalition concept
Chair: Benjamin Hautecouverture (France/EUNPC)
Speaker 1 Michael Biontino (Germany)
Speaker 2 Megan Burke (CMC)
12:45 – 14:00 Lunch
14:30 – 16:30 Session 3: Cooperation and assistance - The connection between affected countries and donor countries – Best practices in coordination/cooperation
Chair: Frank Meeussen (EEAS/EU)
Speaker 1 Genevieve Clune (Australia)
Speaker 2 Khampheng Douangthongla (Lao PDR)
Speaker 3 Vidya Abhayagunawardena (Sri Lanka Campaign to Ban Landmines)
18:30 – 21:00 Reception, German residence

Friday 17 March 2017

09:00 – 10:00 Session 4: Practical implications 1 - Victim assistance
Chair: Aksel Steen-Nilsen (NPA Programme Director, Cambodia)
Speaker 1 JJuan Carlos Ruan (Ottawa ISU)
Speaker 2 Sheila Mweemba (CCM-ISU)
Speaker 3 Benoit Couturier (Handicap International Lao PDR)
10:00 – 11:00 Session 5: Practical implications 2 – Clearance
Chair: Maarten Broekhof (The Netherlands)
Speaker 1 Maarten Broekhof (The Netherlands)
Speaker 2 Touch Pheap (Cambodia)
Speaker 3 Bounpheng Sisawath (Lao PDR)
11:00 – 11:15 Coffee Break
11:30 – 12:30 Wrap up and recommendations
Sandra de Waele (EU)
Balasubramaniam Murali (UNDP – Lao PDR)
Stefano Toscano (GICHD)
Benjamin Hautecouverture (France/EUNPC)
12:30 – 13:30 Farewell lunch

Participants List

Vidya Abhayagunawardena Sri Lanka Campaign to Ban Landmines, Sri Lanka
Yunizar Adiputera Institute of International Studies, Department of International Relations, Faculty of Social and Political Science, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia
Mitzi Austero Nonviolence International Southeast Asia, The Philippines
Shannon Austin New Zealand Embassy Bangkok
Olivier Bauduin National Regulatory Authority of UXO/Mine Action Sector, Lao PDR
Phil Bean Unexploded Ordnance Program Advisor in Lao PDR, Department of State, USA
Donald A. Bernaldez Armed Forces of the Munitions Control Center, Philippines
Michael Biontino Ambassador. Permanent Representation of Germany to the Conference on Disarmament
Richard Boulter United Nations Mine Action Service
Maarten Broekhof Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands
Megan Burke International Campaign to Ban Landmines - Cluster Munition Coalition (ICBL-CMC), USA
Christophe Carlucci Embassy of France, Bangkok
Khun Wiboonrat Chanchoo International Campaign to Ban Landmines - Cluster Munition Coalition (ICBL-CMC), Thailand
Suphanvasa Chotikajan Tang Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand
Pao Chowprayoon National Security Council, Thailand
Genevieve Clune Australian Embassy, Bangkok
Benoit Couturier Handicap International, Lao PDR
Greg Crowther Mines Advisory Group
Bartholomew Digby Halo Trust South East Asia
Khampheng Douangthongla Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lao PDR
Pushpamalar Govindaraju Attorney General’s Chamber, Malaysia
Kakkanang Gyte Delegation of the European Union to Thailand
Benjamin Hautecouverture Fondation pour la recherche stratégique, France
Mahesha Jayawardena Embassy of Sri Lanka, Bangkok
Asida Kaewsaard National Security Council, Thailand
Somsanouk Keobounsan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lao PDR
Surasant Kongsiri Royal Thai Armed Forces, Thailand
Karin Kunjara Na Ayudhya Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand
Alfredo Lubang Nonviolence International Southeast Asia, The Philippines
Phonenipha Mathouchanh Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lao PDR
Frank Meeussen European External Action Service, European Union
Nur Azureen Mohd Pista Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia
Balasubramaniam Murali UNDP, Lao PDR
Sheila N. Mweemba International Support Unit, CCM
T.J. Nanayakkara Ministry of Defense, Sri Lanka
Sorawut Norapoompipat Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand
Daniel C. Ordillo Armed Forces of the Munitions Control Center, Philippines
Antony Prasantha Payoe Ministry of Defense, Sri Lanka
Touch Pheap Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority, Cambodia
Kanyarad Pinseethong International Committee of the Red Cross, Thailand
Jiranut Pitakannop Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand
Johnny Rackenberg Thomsen International Committee of the Red Cross, Thailand
Thanapon Rajchawang Ministry of Defence, Thailand
Pascal Rapillard Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining
Rachael Ratican Australian Embassy, Bangkok
Simon Rea Mines Advisory Group, Lao PDR
Juan Carlos Ruan International Support Unit, Ottawa Convention
Bounpheng Sisawath National Regulatory Authority of UXO/Mine Action Sector, Lao PDR
Say Sokun Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority, Cambodia
Aksel Steen-Nilsen Norwegian People’s Aid, Cambodia
Jaruwan Tiwasiri International Campaign to Ban Landmines - Cluster Munition Coalition (ICBL-CMC – Interpretor of Ms Khun Wiboonrat Chanchoo), Thailand
Stefano Toscano Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining
Sandra de Waele Delegation of the European Union to Thailand