Minister Kitt's Address to Conference on Explosive Remnants of War and Development
Mr.Tom Kitt, T.D. the Minister of State for Overseas Development and Human Rights, delivered the closing address today to a Conference on Explosive Remnants of War and Development, an International Conference on Explosive Remnants of War and Development in Dublin Castle.
The Department of Foreign Affairs hosted the Conference in Dublin Castle between 23 and 25 April. The Conference, organised by Pax Christi, Ireland, provided a forum for governments, international and non-governmental organisations, researchers, representatives of the media and other experts to exchange views on the subject of Explosive Remnants of War. The Conference was funded by the Government (Ireland Aid) and the Governments of Austria, Canada, The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
In his closing address, Minister Kitt noted that “a comprehensive and programmatic approach to poverty alleviation must acknowledge the manner in which Explosive Remnants of War can compromise humanitarian and development efforts.”
Minister Kitt outlined the important role which NGOs continued to play in the removing mines and ERW and victim rehabilitation. He outlined the assistance which Ireland Aid had provided to date for these projects. The Minister also expressed support for the negotiations currently underway in the framework of the United Nations aimed at developing an international instrument to deal with ERW.
Note for Editors:
Negotiations in the framework of the United Nations System on Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) take place in the context of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) adopted in 1980. In December 2002, States Parties agreed to give a mandate to a Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) to negotiate a new instrument on “post conflict remedial measures of a generic nature which reduce the risks of explosive remnants of war.” The Co-ordinator of the GGE on ERW, Ambassador Chris Sanders, together with a representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross and representatives of several NGOs active in the field addressed the Conference.