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DEPARTMENT FOR PM/WRA AND EAP/ANP
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/06/2018 TAGS: PARM, PREL, PHUM, MOPS, AS SUBJECT: AUSTRALIA ACTIVE SUPPORTER OF CCW CLUSTER MUNITIONS NEGOTIATIONS
Classified By: Political Counselor James F. Cole for reasons 1.4(b) and (d)
1. (C/NF) Australia's commitment to the CCW negotiations on cluster munitions was reaffirmed in a July 7 meeting with Dr. Ada Cheung, Director, Arms Control and Counter-Proliferation Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Dr. Cheung indicated that GOA officials met recently with representatives from the EU and reiterated to them the political importance of supporting the CCW efforts and seeking serious and solid results from those negotiations, despite the GOA's support for the Oslo Process agreed text on cluster munitions.
2. (C/NF) Dr. Cheung expressed concern that Russia will oppose the negotiated text and will conceal its opposition until the November CCW meeting. She pointed out that Russia has no domestic political or NGO pressures for action on cluster munitions and will approach the negotiations on a "what's in it for me?" basis. She opined that without anything at stake, Russia may simply flex their negotiating muscle and seek to delay final text negotiations until the November 2009 CCW Plenary. She also stated that invoking Article 8 of the CCW to implement this initiative would be polarizing and that it is important to avoid Russian blocking of the cluster munitions negotQtions. Dr. Cheung suggested that while China, Pakistan and India will not independently act, they may follow a Russian lead in opposing action. However, she also speculated that China, while under the international spotlight of the Olympics, may feel more pressure to be cooperative.
3. (SBU) Dr. Cheung also provided several interoperability scenarios under legal review with respect to Article 21 of the Oslo Process Convention on Cluster Munitions. The GOA continues to work with other like-minded countries such as Japan, Canada, and the UK on this review, and plan a full briefing to their Defence and Foreign Affairs Ministers by August 31, 2008.
4. (C/NF) On a separate issue, Dr. Cheung indicated that the GOA has modestly backed a proposal to increase staffing to a QGOA has modestly backed a proposal to increase staffing to a maximum of six people at the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). She said this staffing level is required to handle the heavy UNODA administrative burden required under Protocol V.