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Welcome Address by Gen. (Dr) V K Singh (Retd), Minister of State for External Affairs at International Conference on the Convention for Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), New Delhi (December 04, 2017)

December 07, 2017

Ms. Christine Beerli, Vice President, ICRC,
Justice M.B. Lokur, Supreme Court of India,
H.E. Dr. E.M.S. Natchiappan, President, Indian Society of International Law,
Ms. Ruchi Ghanshyam, Secretary (West),
Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the International Conference on the Convention for Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in New Delhi. This conference is a first of its kind and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our organising partners in this endeavour – the International Committee of Red Cross and the Indian Society for International Law. I would also like to thank the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) for a wonderful cultural programme they have put forth for all of us.

The Convention for Certain Conventional Weapons or the CCW as it is known, is an instrument central to international humanitarian law and has evolved dynamically over the years. India has had a long standing commitment to the CCW- having ratified the treaty as early as 1984. India’s engagement with this forum has been consistent and we accord high priority to its full and effective implementation.

This conference is a reflection of our tremendous faith in the Convention to further progressive controls over certain categories of conventional weapons through international consensus building and cooperation. Today we, as a community, face the grim reality of the continued existence of war and hostilities around the world. Dealing with this challenge requires collaborative and cooperative mechanisms. We believe that the CCW remains the only universal forum at this moment which brings together a broad spectrum of stakeholders. India strongly supports universalisation of the CCW and hopes that discussions in the ensuing days on the various issues on the agenda will open the way for new ideas and future concretisation of these.

As a country that has assumed the mantle of leadership at a variety of junctures under the aegis of the CCW, India is well-placed to advocate the cause of the Convention and its Protocols. It is indeed very heartening to note the steady progress made towards the goal of universalisation, with the number of High Contacting Parties rising to a noteworthy figure of 125.

The CCW is a balanced forum, committed to the preservation of humanitarian concerns arising from the use of specific weapon systems while also recognising the military necessity of such weapons. This Conference brings together the concepts of the CCW at an international level where a range of legal, military and humanitarian perspectives, specific to Asia and Africa, will be discussed by distinguished experts.

India’s commitment to the CCW framework has extended from being a staunch supporter to an enthusiastic contributor to that of becoming a sponsor. The programme’s voluntary and autonomous nature and its member-driven character is in sync with India’s ideology of multilateralism. India reiterates its support of the CCW Compliance Mechanism. Another fact of India’s engagement has been its focus on capacity building. A joint field training exercise was held last year in Pune on Humanitarian Mine Assistance and Peace-Keeping Operations, wherein more than 300 participants from 17 countries participated.

India remains dedicated to working with all relevant stakeholders to strengthen the CCW framework and make it robust and effective.

I wish the Conference all success, and trust that this Conference would contribute to the realisation of our collective objectives.

I also hope that your stay in Delhi would be comfortable and memorable.

Thank you.

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