29 November 2010
Secretary-General
SG/SM/13282
DC/3272

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Mine-Ban Convention is ‘Indispensable Element of Humanitarian Disarmament

 

Frameworks’, Secretary-General Tells Tenth Meeting of States Parties

 


Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, delivered by Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, to the Tenth Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, today 29 November:


I am pleased to send greetings to all participants at the Tenth Meeting of the States Parties to the Mine-Ban Convention.


I commend your efforts and commitment, which have contributed to the treaty’s incontestable success so far.  The accomplishments are many: 156 States parties have destroyed over 42 million mines; production and transfer of anti-personnel mines is almost non-existent; vast territories have been cleared and released for peaceful and productive use; and survivors have benefited through improved rehabilitation and reintegration assistance.  In short, the Convention has become an indispensable element of humanitarian disarmament frameworks as well as a key forum for cooperation and assistance in creating a mine-free world.


Progress is undeniable, yet much work remains.  Anti-personnel mines continue to kill, maim and terrorize populations while denying communities the means to rebuild their lives.  Commitment alone is not enough.  To reach the Convention’s objectives and ensure a positive impact on people’s lives, we need greater efforts, capacity-building and resources.


Last year, the Cartagena Review Conference marked a milestone in the life of this treaty and in global efforts to achieve a mine-free world.  The Cartagena Action Plan adopted at the Conference commits States parties to undertake a range of specific actions in the subsequent five years to strengthen implementation of, and promote universal adherence to, the Mine-Ban Convention.  I particularly appreciate the Action Plan’s renewed emphasis on international cooperation and victim assistance.  This Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention will provide an important first opportunity to assess the implementation of the Cartagena Action Plan.


The Mine-Ban Convention and other recent treaties on conventional weapons should spur Member States to further examine the impact of other weapons and identify appropriate ways and means to address the humanitarian, socio-economic and environmental concerns associated with their use.  This is especially true of explosive weapons used in populated areas.  I encourage States to take bold action and achieve progress in responding to these challenges.


I am firmly convinced that anti-personnel landmines have no place in our world.  I renew my call on all States that have not yet done so to accede to the Mine-Ban Convention as soon as possible.


The United Nations fully supports the goal of a mine-free world.  I wish you great success in your work, which is so central to this important cause.


* *** *


For information media • not an official record