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National Annual Reporting under the CCW Compliance Mechanism

A key component of the CCW compliance mechanism is national annual reporting by all High Contracting Parties. This reporting mechanism was agreed to at the Third Review Conference. The Fourth Review Conference:
  • Called on all High Contracting Parties to submit compliance reports;
  • Set the deadline for the submission of compliance reports at 31 March of each year; and
  • Mandated the Chairperson of the annual Meeting of High Contracting Parties to encourage higher rates of compliance reporting.

The CCW Compliance Mechanism requires High Contracting Parties to submit information on:

(a) Dissemination of information on the Convention and its annexed Protocols to their armed forces and to the civilian population;
(b) Steps taken to meet the relevant technical requirements of the Convention and its annexed Protocols and any other relevant information pertaining thereto;
(c) Legislation related to the Convention and its annexed Protocols;
(d) Measures taken on technical cooperation and assistance; and
(e) Other relevant matters.

The CCW compliance reporting forms can be accessed here.

Background on the CCW Compliance Mechanism

The issue of clarifying and facilitating compliance with the Convention was first introduced in 1978-1980, during the original negotiations on the CCW when a number of States had proposed that the Convention should contain some form of compliance or monitoring mechanism. In particular, it was suggested that a consultative committee of experts should be established, which would act at the request of States Parties concerned regarding any compliance issue that may arise. The proposal, however, did not gain sufficient support.

The idea of establishing a compliance mechanism was reintroduced during the First Review Conference held in Vienna and Geneva in 1995-1996, and, subsequently, during the 2001 Second Review Conference. Since then, there have been numerous attempts by successive Chairpersons of the Group of Governmental Experts to seek consensus on an agreed compliance mechanism applicable to the Convention and all its annexed Protocols.

The Decision on Compliance

At its Third Review Conference the States Parties decided to establish a compliance mechanism applicable to the Convention, thus undertaking to consult each other and to cooperate bilaterally, through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, or through other voluntary international procedures, regarding any concerns which relate to the fulfilment of their legal obligations or to resolve any issue that may arise with regard to the interpretation and application of the provisions of the Convention.

The Compliance mechanism also provides for appropriate steps, including legislative and other measures, to be undertaken by the States Parties with a view to prevent and suppress violations of the Convention and any of its annexed Protocols; the issuance of relevant military instructions and operating procedures as well as providing adequate training to armed forces personnel commensurate with their duties and responsibilities to comply with the provisions of the Convention; as well as the establishment of a pool of experts to provide assistance, upon request, regarding any concerns which relate to the fulfilment of the States Parties’ legal obligations under the provisions of the Convention and any of its annexed Protocols.

To see the full text of the Decision on a Compliance Mechanism applicable to the Convention, please click here.

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