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Keynote Address by Secretary (West) at International Conference on the Convention for Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), New Delhi (December 05, 2017)

December 07, 2017

Excellencies, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to begin by extending my appreciation to the ICRC and ISIL for their active efforts towards organising this important Conference. It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the First International CCW Conference, New Delhi.

India has been an active supporter of the CCW framework and has a common interest in promoting the Plan of Action on Universalisation, to enable the Convention to achieve its stated goals. The CCW is a dynamic instrument which has time and again demonstrated its continued relevance by evolving and adopting to meet the emerging needs in a balanced manner. India has ratified all five Protocols annexed to the Convention and Amended Article 1 of the Convention. We are committed to ensure the full implementation of our obligations under the CCW and its Protocols. There has been remarkable progress across all Protocols with increasing adherence, and I hope that this Conference – by comprehensively canvassing views on the important elements of the Convention - shall promote increased awareness on the pressing need for adherence to the Convention.

India is a leading contributor to UN peacekeeping operations and is deeply aware of and engaged with the myriad threats posed by armed conflict. India supports the vision of a world free of the threat of landmines and has extended assistance to international demining and rehabilitation efforts. India attaches special importance to Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War and held the Presidency of the CCW when the Protocol was negotiated and was also among the initial countries to ratify it. India is committed to international cooperation and assistance efforts in this regard and has provided such assistance upon request.

India is alarmed by the proliferation of Improvised Explosive Devices – a devastating tool in the hands of terrorists and non state actors and fully partakes in the productive work taking place in this arena under the aegis of the CCW Amended Protocol II. We support enhanced cooperation and information-sharing among states, while maintaining that primary responsibility for enforcing laws lies with the States.

We regret the failure to adopt a Protocol on Cluster Munitions at the Fourth Review Conference and believe that the CCW would be an ideal, inclusive framework to accommodate concerns regarding cluster munitions.

The CCW as a forum has kept apace with rapid technological developments in the field of weaponry, demonstrated by the recently held GGE on the pressing issue of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS). The complexity of the issue requires keen engagement under the aegis of CCW.

I understand that you would have very intense and productive deliberations over the next two days and wish the Conference all success.

Thank you

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