NEW YORK, 12 NOVEMBER 1997
STATEMENT BY Mr. RUI VINHAS, REPRESENTATIVE OF PORTUGAL, TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 52nd SESSION, FIRST COMMITTEE (Agenda item: anti-personnel landmines)
As a country which fully endorsed the objective of a total elimination of anti-personnel landmines and is determined to promote that goal actively in international forums, Portugal is pleased today to be a in position to support the three draft resolutions related to anti-personnel landmines, particularly A/C.1/52/L.23/Rev.1.
Our commitment to that objective means that we will support all initiatives in this area, regardless of which international forum is taking up the issue. However, it is our view that each forum should pursue its work on anti-personnel landmines in close coordination with the efforts pursued in others so as to maximize the complementarity of the international community's work in eliminating landmines.
Portugal supports the efforts of the Conference on Disarmament in this area in the hope that they will be compatible with and in support of the Ottawa process, as well as with the work of the United Nations regional organizations and the Review Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, and that they will contribute to the overall objective of a total ban.
My delegation considers that revised draft resolution A/C.1/52/L.23/Rev.1 takes into account at least part of our initial concerns. We appreciate the efforts made by the sponsors in order to accommodate our concerns. Portugal, while being only an observer, is committed to participating actively in the discussions on this issue in the Conference on Disarmament. We look forward to a positive consideration of our application for admission to the Conference in order to participate fully in its efforts towards our ultimate common objective: the elimination of anti-personnel landmines.