|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General Hails Conference of High Contracting Parties to Amended Protocol
on Conventional Weapons as Chance for Better Civilian Protection
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, delivered by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, to the thirteenth annual Conference of the High Contracting Parties to Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, in Geneva on 11 November:
I am pleased to send greetings to this thirteenth annual Conference of the High Contracting Parties to Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.
Landmines, booby-traps and other explosive devices aggravate and prolong the horrendous consequences of armed conflict. Both during and after hostilities, they kill indiscriminately, maim vulnerable civilians and cause excessive, yet random, suffering of combatants. Since its inception, the Protocol has helped shape global efforts to eliminate that scourge.
Your meeting offers an opportunity to address current concerns and to exchange information on how to better protect civilians. It also provides a venue to focus greater attention on the protection of civilians and the humanitarian impact of improvised explosive devices. Furthermore, evidence provided years ago by members of the United Nations Mine Action Team indicates the need to strengthen international rules applicable to mines other than anti-personnel mines.
Information-sharing and collaboration among experts of Amended Protocol II and Protocol V demonstrates the enthusiasm to foster greater cooperation and synergy within the context of the Convention. I welcome this trend and encourage you to continue enhancing transparency.
Universalizing the Protocol remains as important as ever. I reiterate my calls to implement the Plan of Action to Promote the Universality of the Convention and its annexed Protocols. Global participation in humanitarian norm-setting can have a powerful effect, spurring action in other areas of concern. I congratulate the 97 States that have expressed their consent to be bound by Amended Protocol II. I call upon all countries that have not yet done so to become parties to it as soon as possible, particularly those States parties that acceded to the original Protocol II.
Your work at this conference is an important contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security. I wish you every success in your deliberations.
* *** *For information media • not an official record