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Review conference of the 1980 UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)

22-04-1996 News Release

United Nations, Geneva

 Role of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC  )  

 The diplomatic negotiations  

In its capacity as expert-observer, the ICRC will participate in the third and final round of the diplomatic negotiations initiated in February 1994 with the aim of reviewing the UN Weapons Convention, which regulates the use of anti-personnel mines. In October 1995, the 57 States party to the Convention agreed to incorporate a new Protocol which prohibits the use of blinding laser weapons as a method of warfare. The April-May 1996 session will primarily focus on strengthening Protocol II, which relates to the current definition and use of landmines, the scope of application of the Protocol, its implementation and verification regimes, the protection of humanitarian personnel, and possible sanctions.

 The ICRC will be represented by the following delegation:  

 - Cornelio Sommaruga, President of the ICRC

 - Eric Roethlisberger, Vice-President of the ICRC

 - Daniel Thürer, Member of the Committee

 - Yves Sandoz, Head of delegation

 - Toni Pfanner, Deputy Head of delegation

 - Louise Doswald-Beck, Member of delegation

 - Peter Herby, Member of delegation

 - Dominique Loye, Technical Adviser

 - Patrick Blagden, Military Adviser

 - Chris Giannou, Medical Adviser

 - Jean-Paul Fallet, Adviser

 - Sylvie Junod, Adviser

 - Johanne Dorais-Slakmon, Adviser

 Calendar of ICRC events during the first week (22-26 April) of the Conference  

 Continuous events:  

- Exhibition on the effects of mines, Palais des Nations, E Building, 3rd floor. This consists of a 21-metre-long gallery comprising over 90 images on electrostatic graphic panels. The exhibit was designed by Cathy Karatchian, author-photographer, for the ICRC. After the Conference, it will be displayed in the major capitals of the world in cooperation with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

- Viewing of the pedagogical CD-ROM "Random Ambush" , Palais des Nations, 3rd floor, near the ICRC exhibition area.

- Public information: distribution points for ICRC publications, press packs and promotion material. Palais des Nations, E Building, 3rd floor (in Plenary area) and on the 1st floor of Building E (near the working group rooms). Major films produced by the ICRC will be screened on a monitor on the 1st floor of Building E.

- The ICRC public advocacy campaign "Landmines must be stopped." will be on display in 10 language versions in the United Nations Visitors'Lounge, door 39.

 22 April 1996 : President Sommaruga was invited by Conference President Johan Molander to make a statement to the Conference at the opening plenary session.

 23 April, 14:00 : Alexandre Schaad, ICRC producer of CD-ROM " Random Ambush " will give a demonstration to delegates, media and general public, E building, 3rd floor, near the ICRC Exhibition area.

 24 April, 14:00 , Building E, 1st floor, Room XXVII, there will be an open-ended session at which Patrick Bladgen, co-author of the ICRC study "Anti-personnel Landmines: Friend of Foe ?" , will give a presentation on " the military use and effectiveness of anti-personnel mines "

 26 April, 14:00 , Building E, 1st floor, Room XXVII, Dr Chris Giannou will give a presentation at an open-ended session on "Trends in Mine Warfare" .