Meetings of the States parties
This section contains information about the meetings of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.
The CCW has a unique structure, as follows:
(i) the framework Convention contains general provisions on the CCW operation; and
(ii) substantive prohibitions and restrictions on certain types of weapons are contained in the Protocols annexed to the Convention.
An immediate result of this unique structure is the existence of different legal regimes due to the diverse participation (membership) in the Convention and its Protocols, and the variety of CCW meetings of different setting and level of participation. Moreover, the CCW and two of its Protocols, namely Amended Protocol II and Protocol V have their own implementation processes which function in parallel.
Thus all CCW States parties meet annually at a Meeting of the States parties (or at a Review Conference - every five years) to review the status and operation of the Convention and its protocols, and to consider the work done by the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) which was established in 2001. They also decide on the mandate of the GGE and its Meetings of military and technical experts, which may be to negotiate a new Protocol or to study a specific problem or weapon, as well as on the number of sessions per year it may need to fulfill its mandate.
Amended Protocol II has its own implementation structure consisting of Annual Conferences. A subsidiary body - a Group of Experts – may also be established to consider the Protocol’s implementation or a specific related issue.
The States Parties to Protocol V have also established an implementation mechanism for the Protocol consisting of annual Conferences and meetings of experts to discuss specific problems of the implementation of the Protocol, like clearance of ERW or victim assistance. The discussions in the meetings of experts are facilitated by coordinators who then report to the annual Conferences.
CCW meetings are usually held in Geneva. They are open to all States Parties to the Convention. The signatories to the Convention as well as all other States are invited to participate as observers. The Meetings are open to the relevant international and non-governmental organizations which may also participate as observers.
The meetings are convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations by a note verbale addressed to all States. Individual invitations are not issued. The CCW Implementation Support Unit housed under the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, Geneva branch is responsible for the administration of the CCW meetings.