Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (10MSP) 30 August to 2 September 2022

30 Aug 2022 10msp 4 c

Agenda Item 8: General Exchange of Views

Mr. President,

We join with other delegations in congratulating Ambassador Aidan Liddle of the United Kingdom on your assumption as President of the Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Please be assured of our delegation’s full support in ensuring a successful conclusion to our deliberations. We also wish to thank the CCM ISU for their work to implement the Convention.

Mr. President,

At the outset allow me to reiterate Sri Lanka’s strong commitment to realize the humanitarian objectives and principles of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, to put an end to inhumane injury and suffering caused by cluster munitions during and after conflicts. Sri Lanka had the honour to preside over the 9th Meeting of State Parties to the Convention in 2019, one year after its accession to the Convention.

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OEWG on reducing space threats through norms, rules, and principles of responsible behaviours, 10 May 2022

10 may 2022 Photo General Exchange of Views r

Statement by Sri Lanka on General Exchange of Views

Mr. Chair,

Sri Lanka would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the Chair of the first session of the 2022 of the OEWG on reducing space threats and for the opportunity to share our views on this subject. You have our full support in moving this process forward towards a substantive outcome. We would also like to appreciate the thought-provoking presentations made by today’s panelists.

Sri Lanka’s active engagement on the issue of Prevention of Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) has been well known and dates back to the early 80’s when with likeminded developing states, we called for the preservation of outer space as the common heritage of all mankind, to be used in cooperation and solely for peaceful purposes. It is in as far back as 1985 that Sri Lanka proposed a moratorium on the testing and development of space weapons preceding multilateral negotiations on a treaty to prohibit all weapons in space. As you are aware Sri Lanka continues to present the First Committee Resolution on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) alternatively with Egypt each year for over four decades and remains true to its principled position that outer space is the common heritage of all humanity and should be kept free of weaponization.

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Take stock of international law and other normative frameworks concerning threats arising from state behaviour with respect to outer space, 9 May 2022

9 may 2022 Agenda Take stock of international law concerning threats arising from state behaviour with respect to outer space

Statement by Sri Lanka
9 May 2022

Mr. Chair,

Since the first launching of a satellite in 1957, space exploration, interest and use of space have developed rapidly. Conflict in space could affect not only space faring nations but also those who do not have space power in view of the interconnectedness and the reliability of space based services. The Outer Space Treaty, the legal cornerstone of international law on space activities, recognizes in its preamble “the common interest of all mankind in the progress of the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes” and establishes in its Article 3 the basic principle that, “activities in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be in accordance with international law, including the Charter of the United Nations.” In addition, the Rescue Agreement of 1968, the Liability Convention of 1972, Registration Convention of 1974, the Moon Treaty of 1984 as well as UN declarations and principles which are non binding in nature provide important references to existing legal regime and principles on space behaviour.

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Address by the Hon. Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka at the High Level Session of the Conference on Disarmament, 28 February 2022

28 02 2022 hon mfa CD


Mr. President,

Madam Secretary General and

Distinguished delegates,

It is an honour for me to address the high-level segment of the Conference on Disarmament, the world’s sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum.

Mr. President as a member of the Conference on Disarmament since its inception, we take pride in its past achievements and recall its successes and those of its predecessor entities which led to the conclusion of landmark Conventions such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).   I would like to reiterate at the outset Sri Lanka’s long-standing policy against the possession development and use of all weapons of mass destruction; chemical, biological and nuclear. We remain a strong advocate of nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament in line also with the principles of the Non Aligned Movement in multiple fora in New York , Vienna , the Hague   and in particular here at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

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Sixth Review Conference of the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (CCW) - Intervention during the adoption of the Report o

24 12 2021 CCW

Thank you Madam Chair

allow me to congratulate you at the outset on your appointment as the chair of this Committee and to assure of our full support.

Sri Lanka takes note of the content of the draft report, and we note with concern that the recommendations on the future mandate of the GGE have fallen short of the expectations of those who voiced for a more ambitious mandate for the GGE.

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Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects CCW Sixth Review Conference General Exchange of Views Statement-Sri Lanka 13.12.2021

13 dec 2021 2 CCW Rev con  

Mr. President,

Allow me at the outset to congratulate you on the assumption of the Presidency of the Sixth Review Conference. We also congratulate the other members of the Bureau upon their election. As you are leading this important conference amidst challenges posed by the pandemic situation as well as by the critical substantive issues before the Review Conference for discussion, I would like to assure you of the full support of my delegation to make this Conference a success. We sincerely hope that our discussions this week would lead to forward-looking outcomes that would contribute to further strengthening the implementation of the Convention and its Protocols.

The CCW framework is an important pillar of the multilateral disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control system. We therefore believe that the Review Conference provides an important opportunity to assess fast developing technologies and their application to sophisticated weapon systems with a view to providing legal clarity as well as possible improvements to the CCW framework through internationally agreed benchmarks in response to the evolving warfare technologies.

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Meeting of States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) 22-25 November 2021 Agenda item 5 - General Debate, statement of Sri Lanka

25 nov 2021 BWC state party meeting


Mr. Chairperson,

On behalf of the delegation of Sri Lanka, I would like to extend our congratulations to Ambassador Cleopa Mailu of the Republic of Kenya on his election as the Chair of the Meeting of States Parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC). Please be assured of our delegation’s full co-operation and support in ensuring a successful conclusion to our deliberations. Sri Lanka also appreciates the Chairs of the Meetings of Experts and the staff of the Implementation Support Unit.

Sri Lanka aligns itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

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Nearly 12 000 landmines destroyed by Sri Lanka under the Mine Ban Convention

Geneva, Colombo September 2021 –“Sri Lanka is pleased to confirm that the Humanitarian Demining Unit of the Sri Lanka Army has destroyed nearly 12,000 stockpiled anti-personnel mines almost a year earlier than the deadline set to us by the treaty that bans the production, use, stockpile, and transfer of these indiscriminate weapons”, announced officials at the National Mine Action Centre (NMAC) of Sri Lanka in a statement sent to the secretariat of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. Also known as Ottawa Convention, the treaty unites over 80% of the world’s states and bans the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of these weapons.

NMAC, which oversees planning, coordination, and implementation of Sri Lanka’s obligations under the Convention, indicated that the mines were destroyed at the end of the summer in the Kilinochchi District, in the Northern Province. “With this act, Sri Lanka signals to the world its steadfast commitment to eradicating this scourge in line with the ongoing endeavours for reconciliation and lasting peace. Our efforts towards clearing all known mined areas will continue in partnership with international allies to reach the target of a mine-free Sri Lanka”, NMAC officials added.

Sri Lanka is one of a handful of countries in South Asia that have adhered to the international treatydoing so in 2017. Since then, the country has led efforts in promoting the Convention and its norms in the region.

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General Comments by Sri Lanka on the Revised Drafts Elements paper of the Chair at the Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems 27 September 2021

27 sep 2021 LAWS

Thank you, Mr. Chair,

We thank you and your team for the revised elements paper and look forward for more focused and constructive discussion on the revised paper.

At the outset, we note a number of substantive changes to the initial elements paper shared by the Chair in the previous GGE session, which many delegations including Sri Lanka considered as a step forward in our deliberations, providing a solid basis for the Group to agree on forward looking recommendations for the Review Conference later this year. The current revised version of the paper however, in certain important sections is a setback in our view. The approach of the revised paper in some sections appears to provide the notion that development and use of LAWS is acceptable as long as such development and use are done following certain guidelines and practices.

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Second Review Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) 20 September 2021

20 09 2021 CCM Rev Con statement

Agenda Item 7: Reaffirming the determination to put an end to the suffering caused by cluster munitions

Mr. President,

Sri Lanka is pleased to join the Second Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), a significant milestone of the Convention. We join with other delegations in congratulating you, Mr. President and your team for your hard work and dedication in the process leading up to this important Review Conference.

Mr. President,

As a country that has never used or produced cluster munitions, we take this opportunity to renew our persistent commitment to the humanitarian principles and objectives enshrined in the Convention on Cluster Munitions. We acceded to the Convention on 1 March 2018 as a country that has been a keen and active participant in the disarmament and non-proliferation deliberations over the years. Sri Lanka had the honour to preside over the 9th Meeting of State Parties to the Convention, one year after accession to the Convention. We remain fully committed to the multilateral regime of disarmament and non- proliferation discourse and yearn to see substantive progress on some of the key outstanding issues in the realm of disarmament and non-proliferation.

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Meetings of Experts of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), 30 August - 8 September 2021

8 sep 2021 bwc

Intervention made during MX 3 - Strengthening National Implementation 

Mr Chair,

Let me extend our warm congratulations on your assumption of duties as the chairperson, MX3 and hard work throughout.

Sri Lanka supports the BWC and very much in line with implementation process. We will further discuss implementation in Sri Lanka through preparedness and response at the proceedings of  MX4

I would like to congratulate Japan and US for the interesting working papers and comprehensive methodology applied for training and information sharing.

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Statement at the Plenary on “Women´s participation and role in International Security” Conference on Disarmament 26 August 2021

26 aug 2021 Statement at the Plenary on Womens participation and role in International Security



Mr. President,

Since this is the first time my delegation takes the floor during your presidency, allow me at the outset to congratulate you on the assumption of the presidency. You can count on our full support.

We thank the distinguished panelists for their valuable `insights into this timely discussion on Women and International Security.

Mr. President,

We repeat among ourselves at each session that the CD is the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum. Yet, regrettably, we have not been successful in reaching consensus on a Programme of Work, let alone the negotiations.. Irrespective of the CD’s lack of progress, the world outside keeps moving and the already fragile international security situation is taking a turn for the worse. Trust in multilateralism is challenged and there are concerns on the return of strategic competition among military powers. It is in these worrying circumstances that we welcome this session on ‘Women´s participation and role in International Security, a discussion that will shed light on an important link on the chain of disarmament and non-proliferation that is often over looked.

Sri Lanka in 1960 produced the world’s first elected female Prime Minister who mooted the proposal for the Indian Ocean to be made a Zone of Peace at the United Nations General Assembly in 1971. , Sri Lanka has over the years seen women leaders rising up to important government positions including the office of the President, Cabinet Ministers, Chief Justice, and the Attorney General. In the recent past two Sri Lanka female career diplomats have held senior positions at the IAEA and at the OPCW contributing to disarmament and non-proliferation efforts. We consider active female participation is essential in the disarmament and non-proliferation discussions and negotiations due to several reasons.

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Statement at the Plenary on Youth and Disarmament Conference on Disarmament 12 August 2021

20 Aug 2021 cd 2

Mr. President,

Since this is the first time my delegation takes the floor during your presidency, allow me at the outset to congratulate you on the assumption of the presidency. You can count on the full support of my delegation.

We appreciate the valuable insights of the distinguished panelist including Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth. Sri Lanka is proud of her leadership and proactive contribution to the youth strategy of the United Nations.

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Intervention by Sri Lanka on Section 4 of the Chair’s Working paper on draft elements on possible consensus recommendations in relation to the clarification , consideration and development of aspects of the normative and operational framework on emerging

11 August statement photo


11 August 2021

Thank you Mr. Chair,

I will make two brief comments on section 3 before providing some comments on section 4. We fully support the retention of specific references to branches of international law in section 3.1 for reasons we have repeatedly mentioned in our previous statements and by other colleagues this morning as well.  

Secondly, the willingness of programmers of autonomous weapon systems to ensure compliance with the existing legal norms and principles is a serious concern. Therefore, we support the inclusion of the word ‘development’ in section 2 as suggested by Austria and supported by other delegates.

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Intervention by Sri Lanka on General Considerations Section of the Chair’s Working paper on draft elements on possible consensus recommendations in relation to the clarification , consideration and development of aspects of the normative and operational

10 Aug 2021 Sri Lanka statement

Sri Lanka fully supports the reference to international human rights law in the general considerations section. Given the possibility of autonomous technology to be used in situations of armed conflicts as well as in law enforcement situations, recognition of the relevance of international human rights law and criminal law is important. Principles of non-discrimination and human dignity are cardinal principles of international human rights law which have a direct relevance to our discussion today.

Secondly Sri Lanka supports a stronger emphasis on ethical considerations. While it is understood that ethical dimension is already included in the IHL principles, a separate paragraph on this issue, we believe is an important reinstatement. Decisions on human life are too important to be left to the blunt expedient of a mechanical judgment.

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Statement by Sri Lanka on Chair’s Working paper on draft elements on possible consensus recommendations in relation to the clarification , consideration and development of aspects of the normative and operational framework on emerging technologies in the

9 August 2021 statement photo
9 August, 2021

Mr. Chair,

We thank you for the draft elements paper on possible consensus recommendations circulated last Friday.

We have been engaged in discussions on technological, legal, military and ethical considerations of the development of autonomous weapon systems in this GGE forum since 2017. Over the years, a growing number of States have repeatedly flagged the alarming consequences of the challenges posed to fundamental IHL principles and humanity by the potential use of autonomous weapon systems and the urgent need for internationally agreed prohibitions and limitations.

During the discussion last Friday, some delegations re-iterated the need for our discussion to be based on the 11 guiding principles adopted in 2019, as reflected in the decision of the High Contracting Parties in 2019 , where it called upon the Group to consider the guiding principles, with a view to further develop and elaborate.

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Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS) Statement by Sri Lanka

3 Aug 2021 Statement photo


5 (a)   An exploration of the potential challenges posed by emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems to international humanitarian law

3 August, 2021


Mr. Chair,

Excellencies, Distinguished participants,

At the outset, Sri Lanka would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the Chair of the Group of Governmental Experts on LAWS and for the continuous engagement with states on this issue. Let me assure you Mr. Chair, of the full support and cooperation of my delegation as we approach the preparation of the recommendations of the GGE to the 6th Review Conference of the CCW.

Sri Lanka aligns itself with the position expressed in the Working Paper submitted by Venezuela on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on possible consensus recommendations.

Since this session is dedicated to exploration of the potential challenges posed by LAWS to IHL, our remarks will be aimed at addressing this particular issue.

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Sri Lanka Statement at the Thematic Debate Session under Agenda Item 1 of the Conference on Disarmament on 12 May 2021

Mr. President,

Since this is the first time my delegation takes the floor during your presidency, the delegation of Sri Lanka extends greetings and convey sincere good wishes for every success. The delegation of Sri Lanka assures you of its fullest support and cooperation. Our thanks are extended to the distinguished panelists for their contribution to this discussion

While we regret that the Conference fails yet again to reach consensus on a programme of work due to apparent lack of political will, we consider this thematic debate an important opportunity to reiterate our principled position on agenda item 1 on cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament. This agenda item is of particular significance given the importance of the upcoming NPT review conference.

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Address by the Hon. State Minister of Regional Co-operation of Sri Lanka to the Conference on Disarmament, 21 February 2021

21 feb 2021 hon state minister Tharaka Balasuriya r

Mr. President,

Madam Secretary General and

Distinguished delegates,

I am pleased to join this important international forum to reiterate the importance Sri Lanka attaches to the Conference on Disarmament as the world’s sole multilateral disarmament negotiation forum. Our delegation assures you, Mr. President, of its full support and cooperation to find common grounds for fulfilling the Conference on Disarmament’s obligations towards strengthening international peace and security.

We take this opportunity to reaffirm Sri Lanka’s strong commitment and support for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Sri Lanka continues to remain concerned about the lack of progress on nuclear disarmament and the threat such weapons pose to survival of humanity.

Today, we are faced with one of the most challenging moments in human history. Like all obstacles, resolving the current crises requires renewed willingness to think and act collectively, especially to ensure the safety and security of the world we live in. The need for genuine efforts towards achieving this goal is now more important than ever.

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Sri Lanka Statement at the Plenary of the Conference on Disarmament 26 January 2021

crest

 

Mr President,

At the outset the delegation of Sri Lanka wishes to congratulate you on your assumption of the first Presidency of the 2021 session of the Conference on Disarmament. Our delegation assures you and other P6 Presidents of its full support and cooperation to find common grounds for fulfilling CD’s obligations towards strengthening international peace and security. We are encouraged by the approach of the six presidencies working together as a team in this regard. We also thank the Secretary General of the CD and the CD Secretariat for their support.

Sri Lanka aligns itself with the statement of G21 delivered by Indonesia.

Mr. President, our delegation notes with appreciation the package proposal presented by you on behalf of the six Presidents. We affirm our full support for your efforts to develop this package through a consultative process and reach consensus on a balanced and comprehensive programme of work with a view to resuming multilateral disarmament negotiations, which we have failed to achieve for far too long.

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The Eighteenth Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction

crest

The Eighteenth Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction

Agenda Item: 7. General exchange of views (continued)

Mr. President,

At the outset I would like to commend the excellent manner in which you lead the work of the Convention and to appreciate your team for facilitating this meeting despite the extraordinary circumstances.

Sri Lanka will be pleased to join the Article 5 Implementation Committee exemplifying Sri Lanka’s strong commitment to advancing as well as contributing to the universal realisation of the salutary objectives of the Convention.

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Statements by Sri Lanka at the Meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts on Emerging Technologies in the areas of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems during 21-25 September 2020

Statements Delivered by Sri Lanka at the Meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts (GCE) on Emerging Technologies in the areas of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS) held in Geneva on from 21-25 September 2020.

 

Agenda Item : 5(a) An exploration of the potential challenges posed by emerging technologies in the area of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems to International Humanitarian Law;

Mr. Chair,

Excellencies, Distinguished participants,

At the outset, Sri Lanka would like to congratulate you on your assumption of the Chair of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Emerging Technologies in the Field of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS). We also take this opportunity to appreciate the former Chair of the GGE on LAWS Ambassador Kārkliņš, for his commitment and efforts to continue the momentum. Let me assure you Mr. Chair, of the support of our delegation to the continuation of substantive deliberations in the GGE on LAWS during this year and in 2021.

It is unfortunate that the unexpected circumstances during this year as well as the difficulty to reach consensus on key aspects of the GGE have led to a lack of substantive progress that many of us would have expected to achieve.

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Statement by Sri Lanka at CCW Meeting of High Contracting Parties 13 November 2019

Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (CCW)

Meeting of High Contracting Parties

General Exchange of Views – 13 November 2019

Statement by Sri Lanka

Mr. President,

It is with great pleasure and warmth that Sri Lanka welcomes you to Geneva and joins in congratulating you on your appointment as the President of this year’s Meeting of High Contracting Parties to the CCW. We commend the leadership provided by Pakistan to the CCW process in the run up to this Meeting, as it did during the CCW Review Conference of 2016 as well. We also take this opportunity to applaud Benin on acceding to Protocols II, IV and V in 2019, further strengthening its commitment to the cause of the CCW.    

Mr. President,

As a country successfully emerging from the effects of long-term conflict, Sri Lanka appreciates and underlines the pronounced need for humanitarian disarmament and arms control. Norms of humanity and related principles of international humanitarian law, including proportionality, inform discourses on regulation, control and eventual elimination of weapons that are excessively injurious. Following years of humanitarian demining work that was undertaken even as the conflict was raging, we are now inching closer to making Sri Lanka landmines-free in the near future. Through sustained national efforts at mine risk education, we also succeeded in bringing civilian casualties of landmines, to zero by 2018.

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States parties commend Sri Lanka’s leadership to Humanitarian Disarmament

05 09 2019 CCM4

The 9th Meeting of States Parties (MSP) to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) concluded its deliberations in Geneva on 4 September 2019 under the Presidency of Sri Lanka. States parties, signatories, observer states and international and civil society organizations participated in the three-day meeting which convened its first session on 2 September 2019.

The MSP, chaired by Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, marked the culmination of a year-long process of oversight and review of the implementation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and of guidance and advocacy for the universalization of the Convention and its norms, and the prohibition of use, production, stockpile and transfer of cluster munitions. Sri Lanka’s election to the Presidency of the 9th MSP had been facilitated by the wide recognition among the international community, of its strengthened commitment to humanitarian disarmament, as manifested by its accession to the CCM and the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

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President of the Meeting of States Parties calls for universalisation of the Cluster Munitions Convention

07 08 2019 CCM

"Achieving a world free of cluster munitions depends on the strengthening of norms that are universally accepted and implemented", emphasizes Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, in his capacity as the President of the 9th Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). His statement has been released on the occasion of the 9th anniversary of entry into force of the CCM on 1 August 2019.

Web Article : http://www.clusterconvention.org/2019/07/31/9th-anniversary-of-the-conventions-entry-into-force/

Full Statement by Ambassador

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka

Geneva

7th August 2019

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