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I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States. The Candidate Countries Turkey, North Macedonia[*], Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this statement.
The European Union wishes to thank the Committee on the Enhancement of Cooperation and Assistance for its preliminary observations.
Between 2012 and 2017, EU institutions provided EUR 360 million in funding for mine action in 33 mine affected countries. In the same period, EU Member States also funded mine action with over EUR 350 million.
The EU welcomes the individualised approach format that the Committee is implementing in order to give a platform for interested affected States Parties to present their specific challenges and needs to relevant stakeholders, including mine action operators and donors. We welcome the most recent dedicated meetings on Ecuador and Tajikistan and we hope that the timely announcements by the Implementation Support Unit (ISU) will allow the necessary coordination in capitals to maximise the effectiveness of the meetings. We encourage all relevant stakeholders to engage with such models of international cooperation and enhance national ownership. Cooperation and assistance helps states in need to implement and meet their national obligations.
The EU and its Member States are committed donors for mine action assistance and have a long history of support to nearly all heavily mine-affected countries and regions of the world. EU mine action assistance supports humanitarian efforts, stabilisation, security and socio-economic development, as well as reconciliation, the return of refugees and integration of mine victims and disabled persons in general. The EU also assists mine affected countries to set up or update national mine action strategies, in close cooperation with the United Nations and other donors and stakeholders. In this light, the EU recalls the financial contribution worth of 2.3 million EUR provided to the ISU under EU Council Decision 2017/1428/CFSP in support of the universalization and implementation of the Convention and the Maputo Action Plan.
In the affected countries, mine action is key to the realisation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We emphasize the importance of connecting the Sustainable Developments Goals and development strategies with mine action. The EU is committed to mainstreaming a gender perspective into its mine action work and we continue to support the work of stakeholders in mine action to integrate a gender perspective into their humanitarian mine action policies.
Thank you, Mr. Chair
[*] North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.