All articles from: July, 2008

U.S. Closing Statement at the CCW Group of Governmental Experts, 3rd Session

Thank you Mr. Chairman. First of all, let me thank you for the extraordinary job you and your team are doing in leading these negotiations. We believe that we have made substantial progress in this session toward what we hope will be a successful outcome to these negotiations, and you and your team deserve an enormous amount of credit for that. Your draft text proved an excellent basis for work, as did your elements paper for Article 4.

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U.S. Delegation Intervention in Support of Article 3 on International Humanitarian Law

We are eager to start our paragraph by paragraph discussion of this article, but we think it may be appropriate to make some general comments at the outset. Before that, however, let me thank you for your tireless efforts on this topic that has proven exceedingly challenging. While there are obviously different views among delegations about how to approach Article 3, I think there is complete consensus that you have worked extremely hard and inclusively to help us make progress on the issue of international humanitarian law (or IHL).

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United States Seeks New Agreement on Cluster Munitions (America.gov article)

Washington — The United States is pushing for a new legally binding protocol under the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) that would reduce the potential humanitarian impact of cluster munitions while preserving legitimate strategic options.

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United States Intervention on Technical Improvements

Thank you Mr. Chairman. Many of us have noted that the issue of technical improvements to cluster munitions is particularly difficult given the divergent views among delegations on this topic. However, we also believe that it is an area that must be addressed in some fashion for these negotiations to be successful.

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Department of Defense Releases New Cluster Munitions Policy (Press Release)

Today the Department of Defense released a newly approved U.S. cluster munitions policy. The United States believes that the new policy will provide better protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure following a conflict, while allowing for the retention of a legitimate and useful weapon.

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U.S. Statement on International Humanitarian Law to Group of Governmental Experts

Thank you Mr. Chairman for giving me the opportunity to offer my delegation’s views on draft article 3 in the text you prepared entitled “Protection of civilians and civilian objects” which addresses the issue of international humanitarian law or IHL. At the outset, I would like to offer some general thoughts on this section and to respond to some of the comments we heard this morning.

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Opening Statement by Stephen Mathias, Head of U.S. Delegation to the CCW-GGE Meetings

Mr. Chairman, my delegation shares the view that these negotiations are at a critical stage and that we should strive to make as much progress as possible during these next three weeks. That said, we do not think that we should rush into an article by article negotiation of the draft text you have presented.

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