[Dateline: New York | Author: UN Mine Action[
The following is a statement issued jointly by members of the United Nations Mine Action Team on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Anti-Personnel Mine-Ban Convention . (1 March 2009)
We applaud the progress made in the struggle against the scourge of landmines. Much has been achieved since the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention entered into force ten years ago. We are greatly impressed and heartened by the steady decline in casualty rates, the return of formerly mined areas to productive civilian use and the destruction of tens of millions of these deadly weapons.
The Mine-Ban Convention is a success story. It is estimated that in 2008 alone, over 190,000 anti-personnel mines and 10,000 anti-vehicle mines were destroyed. And an increased number of countries have declared completion of their mine clearance operations, including most recently France, Malawi and Swaziland.
We reaffirm our continued support to the global implementation of the Mine-Ban Convention. We also reaffirm our commitment to do everything we can to assist States Parties and, in particular, mine-affected countries in meeting their obligations to clear mined areas, assist victims, destroy stockpiled landmines and educate women, men, girls, and boys about the dangers of landmines and explosive remnants of war. The United Nations has supported mine action in over 50 countries.
In this regard, we would recall the Secretary-General’s commitment to support the Mine-Ban Convention, as reaffirmed during the Ninth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine-Ban Convention and his reminder to Member States of their critical responsibility to ensure sustained financial support for mine action activities, especially in the numerous developing countries that confront this danger and hardship on a daily basis.
Looking forward, the Second Review Conference on the implementation of the Mine-Ban Convention later this year will provide us with a unique opportunity to identify specific actions in support of the continued implementation of the Convention and for the achievement of a world free of landmines.
We should also recall that since the First Review Conference, in Nairobi, in 2004, three new instruments with particular relevance to mine action have been adopted: 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 it is foreseen that the third, which has received strong support from Member States, will do so in the near future. We urge all Member States to support fully these instruments aimed at reducing and, ultimately, even eliminating the humanitarian suffering and developmental impact of landmines and explosive remnants of war.
The Mine-Ban Convention is an excellent example of effective collective efforts by States, the United Nations, regional organizations, NGOs and the International Committee of the Red Cross aimed at ridding the world of indiscriminate weapons. We take this opportunity to extend our thanks and gratitude to the international community and donors for their continued and generous support of mine action to date. We would also like to reiterate that continued funding and support is critical for the sector as it enters into a new phase in its efforts towards achievement of the aims and objectives of the Convention. We look forward to sustaining and expanding our efforts as we push forward into the next decade of mine action work.