“All ears” on anti-personnel landmines

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

UNMAS / Geneva Office

In the run-up to the most important multilateral mine action global conference of the next  five  years, a series of consultations were held recently in Geneva. They included in particular a roundtable on 2 June entitled: “Maputo: the United Nations – all ears” organized by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI), Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), with the support of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).

These preparations are to feed into the Third Review Conference of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC), comprising 161 States Parties, which will be held in Maputo (Mozambique) from 23 to 27 June. The meeting will gather the vast majority of mine action stakeholders globally, including States, civil society and the United Nations.

“I would like to commend UNMAS for this initiative and highlight the relevance of the Strategy of the United Nations on Mine Action 2013-2018, as a guiding instrument of the UN,” said Ambassador Pedro Comissário, Permanent Representative of Mozambique, President-designate of the Convention. “It’s a good coincidence that its period of implementation coincides with the Maputo Action Plan. The implementation of the [UN] Strategy will render tremendous impact in reducing the socio-economic risks to the life of individuals.”

Feedback collected under Chatham House rules from several Ambassadors, other representatives of States Parties, academia, civil society and youth is being sent in confidence to the UN Inter-Agency Coordination Group on Mine Action (IACG-MA), chaired at Principals’ level by the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous and by UNMAS at the working level.

According to the Chatham House rules of negociation, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speakers, nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.

“While the implementation of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention is led by States Parties, we, at the UN, whether we are at UNMAS, UNDP, UNICEF or another entity, keep on striving to assist them,” said Bruno Donat, Chief of the UNMAS office in Geneva. “At the roundtable, Mr. Donat commented, it was a humbling experience to be part of a UN team that was all ears, and to listen to the perspectives of non-UN folks on the role of the United Nations in mine action.”