I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Turkey, Montenegro[*] and Albania*, as well as the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this statement.
Let me begin by congratulating you on the assumption of the Presidency of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention and assure you of the EU's full support. After a successful Review Conference, enhanced efforts by all States Parties are now required to implement the Oslo Action Plan.
This meeting represents a welcome opportunity to further mobilise the necessary financial resources for the Implementation Support Unit (ISU) and we thank you, Mr. President, for keeping the annual tradition and for convening the Fifth Pledging Conference here today.
The EU and its Member States have a long history of support for mine action that benefits nearly all heavily mine-affected countries and regions of the world. The total assistance provided by the EU in the past 5 years amounts to more than 600 million EUR in more than 25 mine affected countries. Recently, the EU has committed to supporting mine action also in Sri Lanka and Kosovo. Our assistance covers the whole scope of mine action: clearance, stockpile destruction, victim assistance, risk education, advocacy and capacity building. And as declared at the Oslo Review Conference, the EU is committed to providing further cooperation and assistance in light of the new Oslo Action Plan.
In addition, the EU directly supports the Implementation Support Unit by means of EU Council Decision 2017/1428/CFSP, worth 2.3 million Euros, which has entered its final phase this year. Through this action, the ISU has been able to support affected States Parties to set-up national stakeholder dialogues on mine clearance and on victim assistance. The project also supports the High Level Universalisation Task Force in their efforts to engage States not party at the political level. The EU will consider a successor project after the end of the current Council Decision.
The EU remains concerned about the financial situation of the Convention and we urge all States to meet their financial obligations under the Convention in full and on time.
To conclude, Mr. President, the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention is a success story and we are convinced that through our continued collective efforts we can maintain this success, overcome remaining challenges, and uphold the strong global norm against anti-personnel mines.
Thank you, Mr. President
[*] Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.