UN Headquarters

28 March 2019

Remarks at the Opening of Slovenian Exhibit on Mine Action

António Guterres

I am pleased to be with you this evening.
Indeed, mine action is an essential foundation for achieving our Agenda 2030, our Sustainable Development Goals. 
Because mine action makes it possible for displaced persons and refugees to return home safely. 
Mine action enables markets and essential infrastructure to re-open. 
Mine action means young people can return to school and families can re-occupy homes. 

But the work is, as we all know, often dangerous.
And I honour ITF and the women and men who show extraordinary bravery in advancing this vital work.
And I would also like to pay tribute the UN Mine Action Service. Slovenia and the UN with the same vision, and with the same commitment [inaudible].
For the past two decades, UNMAS has helped States to free themselves from the threat of mines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices. The same, ITF has been doing so for 20 years.
Together, they currently work in 18 countries on four continents, clearing minefields and raising resources for survivors.
But, of course, the best cure is prevention.

I appeal to all States that have not yet acceded to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and associated Protocols, and the Convention on Cluster Munitions, to do so without delay.
This exhibit shows the horrific aftermath of land mines and explosive remnants of war.
Let us use this exhibition to reaffirm our commitment to ending the damage and assisting those who have been harmed.
Thank you.