India congratulates you on the assumption of this important responsibility of chairing the Group of Experts Meeting on the Amended Protocol II to the CCW. We assure you of our delegation’s full support and cooperation including that of our experts who are participating in the meeting virtually from New Delhi, in ensuring a successful outcome. We also thank the Secretariat for the able support provided throughout the year to the High Contracting Parties in the effective implementation of this important Convention.
2. India is fully committed to the CCW and is a signatory to all the five Protocols of the CCW including the Amended Protocol II. India attaches high priority to the full implementation of the Amended Protocol II as well as its universalization. We havefulfilled all our obligations under the Amended Protocol II related, inter-alia,to the non-production of non-detectable mines as well as rendering all our anti-personnel mines detectable. We have also been submitting our national annual reports in a timely manner.
3. We believe that the Amended Protocol II strikes a fine balance between humanitarian concerns on landmines and legitimate defence requirements, particularly of States, with long borders,such as India. India supports the vision of a world free of the threat of landmines. We believe that the availability of militarily effective alternative technologies that can perform the defensive function of anti-personnel landminesandachange in conventional war-fighting philosophy, will facilitate the achievement of this goal.
4. Information regarding our obligations under the Amended Protocol II is regularly disseminated to our Armed Forces and our military courses of instructioncover the subject at appropriate levels. Our Centers of Excellence on Mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) remain well-informedabout the latest developments with respect to IED design, development, proliferation and the global threat mitigation effort to minimizethe IED contaminated areas. India is willing to share its best practices with other High Contracting Parties and the United Nations as well as work towards improving the quality of the database.
5. India, has been a victim of the menace of the use of IEDs by non-state actors for the last three decades causingcasualties of both, combatants and civilians. Thus, India, is sensitive to the issue of IED threat mitigation and victim assistance.
6. India's ratification of the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities underscores the importance we attach to victim assistance.India welcomes efforts towards victim assistance and technical cooperation both under the UN mandate as well as on a bilateral basis.
7. India is a leading contributor to the UN peacekeeping operations and has extended assistance to international demining and rehabilitation efforts. During the course of the last one year, India has undertaken specialist training on Counter IED, bomb disposal and demining with numerous partner countries including Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia and Uzbekistan. Our 12-member team of experts participated in a joint counter explosive threat task force training exercise namely, Ardent Defender-2019 at Ontario, Canada. India conducted the 20thInternational Counter IED seminar at our Special Forces Training Centre in February 2020, which was attended by 34 foreign delegates in addition to 135 Indian delegates and 49 start-ups. About 130 personnel from 13 African States participated in exercise AFINDEX, a multinational exercise on demining and unexploded ordinance held in India in March 2020. We remain committed to capacitybuilding and assistance to countries on request.
8. India believes that the Amended Protocol II serves as an appropriate mechanism for addressing the issue of IEDs under the CCW framework. We might further benefit from discussions on IEDs with special focus on clearance in urban environment.
Thank you, Madame President.