Disarmament, Security, Peace
Disarmament, Security, Peace
Austria is a strong supporter of comprehensive disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control and the advancement of international humanitarian law. Multilateral fora have to play a central role for these efforts. Therefore, the Permanent Mission contributes to the attainment of these goals through the active promotion of Austria’s objectives in the framework of the following fora in Geneva:
Conference on Disarmament (CD)
The Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament (CD) was established in 1979 with the mandate to negotiate multilateral disarmament treaties. Currently, it comprises 65 members, amongst them Austria since 1996.
The Conference has been in stalemate for more than a decade as it has not been able to enter any negotiations or reach any concrete outcome. Austria is committed to the revitalization of the work of the Conference and its modernization.
Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC)
The Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Biological and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction entered into force in 1975. The BTWC constitutes a key element of the international community’s efforts to combat weapons of mass destruction. The Seventh Review Conference in 2011 provided a five-year mandate to the Conference for strengthening the implementation and effectiveness of the Convention and addressing new developments in the fields of life sciences and technology.
Anti-Personnel Landmine Convention (APLC)
This Convention, prohibiting the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and demanding their destruction, was adopted in 1997 in Ottawa and entered into force in 1999. Austria has been one of the leading states in the process towards a ban on anti-personnel mines. In 2004, Austria chaired the First Review Conference of the Convention in Nairobi. In 2009, a new Action Plan for the implementation of the APLC was agreed at the Cartagena Summit for a Mine-Free World.
At the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties in 2012, Austria has assumed the role as Co-Chair for Victim Assistance and will continue to contribute through this role to a strengthened and effective implementation of victim assistance provisions under the Convention aiming at ensuring the rights and addressing the needs of survivors, affected families and communities.
The APLC has contributed importantly to strengthening the norms of international humanitarian law and human rights law and the anchoring of humanitarian concerns in the disarmament context more broadly.
Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM)
The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), which was adopted in Dublin in 2008 and entered into force in 2010, prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of cluster munitions. The treaty contains obligations regarding the assistance to victims, the clearance of contaminated areas and the destruction of stockpiles.
From 2010 to 2012, Austria served as Friend of the President and later Co-Coordinator on Victim Assistance under the Convention and in this capacity worked towards strengthening the assistance to victims in accordance with the obligations under the Convention and promoting a human rights-based approach to victim assistance.
The CCM constitutes a crucial component of the broader international humanitarian normative framework for the protection of civilians from the effects of armed conflicts.
Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)
The CCW aims at prohibiting or restricting the use of specific types of weapons that are considered to cause unnecessary suffering to combatants or to indiscriminately affect civilians. Austria has ratified the convention and all its protocols and amendments.
From 2010 to 2012, Austria served as a Coordinator on Victim Assistance under Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War and through this role contributed to strengthening the implementation of and promoting victim assistance in the wider CCW framework as well as raising the awareness about the connecting dots with related international legal instruments, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). At the 6th Conference of CCW Protocol V in 2012, Austria assumed the function of a “Friend of the Coordinator on Victim Assistance”.
United Nations General Assembly
In 2013, an Open-Ended Working Group of the UN General Assembly will convene in Geneva with the objective to develop proposals to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons. This Working Group is based on resolution A/Res/67/56 “Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations”, adopted by the General Assembly in 2012, which was initiated by Austria, Mexico and Norway.