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Office of the Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament 58 Avenue Louis Casaï 1216

Office of the Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament 58 Avenue Louis Casaï 1216 Cointrin Switzerland

Tel: +41 (0) 22 918 2328 Mobile: +44 (0) 79 819 9686 Fax: +41 (0) 22 918 2344 matthew.rowland@fco.gov.uk

6 June 2017


Cancellation of CCW meetings in August 2017


I am writing in my capacity as 2017 Chair of Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and on behalf of the President-designate of the Nineteenth Conference of Amended Protocol II, Ambassador Beatriz Londoño Soto of Colombia, President-designate of the Eleventh Conference of Protocol V, Ambassador Andre Pung of Estonia, and Chairperson of the Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (GGE on LAWS), Ambassador Amandeep Singh Gill of India.

We thank those High Contracting Parties who were able to attend the informal meeting convened on Tuesday 30 May 2017. At that meeting, I informed High Contracting Parties that on 22 May and 90 days before the start of the meetings scheduled for August (the GGE on LAWS, the Meeting of Experts on Protocol V and the Group of Experts on Amended Protocol II) I had reviewed with the UN the status of the contributions as published at the beginning of May, the most accurate figures available at the time. The figures showed that we had some $360,000 in the bank, significantly short of the $519,000 needed to hold the three decision-making meetings that High Contracting Parties had agreed to prioritise. I was therefore left with no choice but to cancel the meetings scheduled for August.

Several delegations present at the meeting on 30 May stated their intention to go ahead with the informal activities that they had planned to take place in the margins of the August meetings. On 31 August France and Colombia will convene an open-ended, informal consultation on IEDs, and Germany, in partnership with the ICRC, will hold an event on Explosive weapons in populated areas. I also understand that other events are likely to take place during this week, for example Protocol V consultations on Article 4 and National Reporting. Further details to follow.

Since the April figures were published, a further $110,000 has been contributed. This takes us closer to the estimated sum needed to hold the three decision-making meetings. It is my hope that by the end of July we will have sufficient funds to hold those three meetings and the GGE on LAWS scheduled for November. A decision will need to be taken in August. We will continue to review the status of contributions, and I have asked the ISU to take a hard look at the estimates for all the meetings. As promised at the meeting on 30 May, I will circulate before the beginning of July some proposals aimed at addressing the poor financial situation.


We appeal again to all High Contracting Parties who have yet to pay their contributions this year and any unpaid arrears to do so as a matter of urgency.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Matt Rowland

Dr Matthew Rowland Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament