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I) Process


54. In accordance with Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/10/11 of 20 March 2009, the Working Group organised a series of consultation with a wide range of stakeholders on the content and scope of a possible draft convention from July 2009 to May 2010.


55. An initial draft text of a possible convention was circulated on 15 July 2009 to some 250 experts, academics and NGOs for comments. They were given until end of September to provide their input on the content and scope of the Convention. The Working Group received some 45 written submissions from this group in response to its letter, comprising a total of over 400 comments. [9]


56. During their seventh session in New York in July 2009, the Working Group held two events organized by the International Peace Institute (IPI). The first was a lunchtime policy forum to explore current efforts inside and outside the United Nations to develop a more effective system of international regulation, oversight and accountability. Speakers included Ambassador Peter Maurer of Switzerland, Mr. James Cockayne, IPI Senior Associate and Ms. Shaista Shameem, as Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group. The event attracted over 50 participants from Embassies, the UN and from the civil society.


57. The second event was a four-hour closed-door workshop with relevant experts and civil society representatives primarily based in the United States to discuss the content and scope of a possible legal instrument for the regulation of PMSCs. The event gathered over 20 participants[10] and provided an initial opportunity for the Working Group to discuss in particular the question of inherent State functions that ought not to be outsourced to PMSCs and the system of implementation and enforcement envisioned in the draft convention.


58. This meeting was extremely useful to the Working Group to hear initial feedback from this group of experts on the scope, content and oversight mechanism envisioned in the convention. The comments received greatly assisted the Working Group in addressing some of the key elements of the draft as well as some potential gaps. The Group takes this opportunity to thank the IPI for organizing and hosting these two important events.


59. From September to December 2009, the Working Group took into consideration all the comments received and drafted an amended version of the draft convention.


60. In a second phase and in accordance with above-mentioned resolution which requests the Working Group to “share with Member States, through the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, elements for a possible draft convention on private military and security companies, request their input on the content and scope of such convention and transmit their replies to the Working Group”, the Group prepared a ‘Note on elements for a possible draft convention on Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs)’ for Member State’s comments. This nine-page note was sent by note verbale on 4 January and requested feedback by 15 March 2010. The deadline for comments was later extended to 15 May 2010.


61. The Working Group received written submission from Australia, Belarus, Canada, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Qatar, Lebanon, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain (on behalf of the European Union), Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America[11].


62. The Working Group also received written submissions from the institutions of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).[12]


63. In parallel to this process, the Working Group also received feedback on the ideas contained in the draft elements during the three regional consultations held in Bangkok, Addis Ababa and Geneva. In addition, the Group also organized briefings for all permanent missions in Geneva during their session in April 2010.


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