Agenda Item 6: General Exchange of Views
Meeting of High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Statement by Deputy Legal Adviser Joshua Dorosin, Head of the U.S. Delegation to the Annual Meeting of High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
November 16, 2022
Thank you, Mr. President for giving me the floor, and our delegation congratulates you on your election to serve as President of our meeting. You have the full support of the United States delegation. We would also like to express our appreciation to the ISU for their support of our work at this meeting.
The United States places great value on the CCW as an international humanitarian law treaty that brings together a group of States with diverse security interests to discuss issues related to weapons that may be deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects. The CCW is a forum that is uniquely situated to address these issues due its mix of diplomatic, military, legal, policy, and technical expertise. The United States would especially like to recognize the role and contributions of civil society in this forum. The participation of civil society greatly enhances our work, and we look forward to hearing your perspectives during this meeting.
Mr. President, the United States is grateful for your efforts to engage with those States who have not yet joined the Convention, and we join others in welcoming Malawi on becoming the latest High Contracting Party to the convention. The United States is a party to the CCW and all five of its protocols. Promoting universalization and full implementation of the Convention and each of its protocols is of great importance to us. Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine and its devastating consequences for civilians clearly demonstrates the imperative for States to fully implement their obligations under international humanitarian law, including obligations under Amended Protocol II and Protocol V.
Mr. President, the United States has participated actively in the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS). Our delegation would like to thank all of the other delegations that have submitted proposals to the LAWS GGE in 2022. We also wanted to express our deep appreciation to Ambassador Flavio Soares Damico of Brazil for his skilled Chairmanship of the Group.
Although our delegation was disappointed that many substantive elements that were initially proposed for inclusion in the 2022 LAWS GGE report were unable to gain consensus, we appreciated the report’s accounting of the proposals that had been submitted. The ten proposals represent a wide range of viewpoints, in both form and substance. Our delegation strongly supports the Group’s recommended mandate to intensify the consideration of these proposals in 2023, and we look forward to continuing to engage substantively on all of the proposals. We continue to believe that the joint proposal, co-sponsored by Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States, represents the best path forward for the GGE to make substantive progress in 2023. This proposal builds on the past work of recommendations and conclusions of the GGE and provides a foundation for further international work. We are ready to engage with all States on the substance of this proposal, and are eager to work with other States to build consensus in the GGE.
Mr. President, the United States looks forward to participating in this Meeting of High Contracting Parties to the CCW. Thank you.