The Secretary-General's message to the Twelfth Meeting of the State Parties of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention
Mr. Kassim-Jomart Tokayev, Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva, who delivered the message on behalf of the Secretary-General
I am pleased to convey my greetings to the 160 States Parties and all participants in the Twelfth Meeting on the Mine Ban Convention.
This Convention has made a meaningful difference around the globe. Tens of millions of anti-personnel mines have been destroyed and vast territories have been released for productive use; victims' rights and needs are better understood; mine survivors benefit from improved rehabilitation and reintegration assistance; and anti-personnel landmines are being increasingly recognized as indiscriminate weapons that have no place in the 21st century.
You have helped make this possible. I know you are still working hard together to address the terrible impact these weapons still have on civilians and combatants, the post-conflict reconstruction of societies, human rights, and socio-economic and development activities of mine-affected States.
Jody Williams, Representative of International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) addresses at press conference before the meeting
A view of the meeting
I urge you to spare no effort to comply with your obligations under the Convention within the agreed deadlines. I also urge States to renew their commitments to provide assistance to those in need and to ensure that victims and survivors enjoy the full range of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Our common action against this horrendous weapon must continue. I also renew my call on all States to accede to the Mine Ban Convention as soon as possible.
The Mine Ban Treaty is an excellent example of the humanitarian, socio-economic and environmental benefits of an effective disarmament agreement. This Convention should inspire us to continue our common efforts to strengthen the protection of civilians against the effects of conventional weapons. In this regard I have repeatedly expressed my concern about the devastating impact of explosive weapons in populated areas. I reiterate my call for more focused action on this issue. I also welcome further discussions to address the clear indiscriminate, humanitarian impact of anti-vehicle mines. The United Nations stands ready to support states pursuing further action and discussions.
Please accept my best wishes for the success of your important activities and deliberations.
Photos by Jean-Marc Ferré