UN officials applaud progress made in the struggle against landminesApr 5, 2010
The following is a statement issued jointly by members of the UN Mine Action Team on the occasion of the 2010 International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
Since the Anti-Personnel Mine-Ban Convention entered into force 11 years ago, there have been many signs of progress, such as indications of a steady decline in casualty rates, the return of areas formerly contaminated by landmines and explosive remnants of war to productive civilian use, and the destruction of tens of millions of these deadly, indiscriminate weapons.
Tremendous efforts by national authorities, NGOs, civil society, and the United Nations departments, agencies, funds and programmes have contributed to achieving significant successes since the entry into force of the Mine-Ban Convention. The Mine-Ban Convention is a classic case of disarmament as humanitarian and development action. It is an excellent example of effective multilateral efforts striving towards the goal of a world without these cruel and indiscriminate weapons.
The United Nations looks forward to sustaining and expanding its efforts as we push forward into the next decade of mine action work. There are currently 156 countries that are States Parties to the Mine-Ban Convention. Looking forward, the Cartagena Action Plan is the new benchmark for the Mine-Ban Convention and there is a clear need for all to identify specific actions for an effective implementation of the treaty and for the achievement of our vision of a world free of landmines.
Three additional instruments also carry significant relevance to mine action: Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The first two have already entered into force and the third will on 1 August 2010.
The United Nations therefore reaffirms its continued support to the universalization and full implementation of all of these instruments and reiterates its commitment to assist mine-affected countries in meeting their obligations to clear affected areas, assist victims, destroy stockpiled munitions, and educate women, girls, boys and men about the dangers of mines and explosive remnants of war.
We also recall the commitment of the Secretary-General to support the work of the mine action sector. During the Cartagena Summit, the Secretary-General noted how the work of the mine action sector “has changed the lives of villagers, schoolchildren, peacekeepers and traders.” Today, he noted that mine action efforts “make an invaluable contribution” towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
All Member States are urged to support fully these instruments aimed at reducing and, ultimately, eliminating the humanitarian suffering and developmental impact of landmines and explosive remnants of war.