I am pleased to send greetings to all participants at this important Review Conference.
I thank Mozambique for hosting 15 years after the first meeting under this Convention was held in Maputo. This is a fitting tribute to Mozambique’s leadership.
I applaud the extraordinary results achieved since the First Meeting of the States Parties. The United Nations has proudly assisted more than 50 affected States while standing as an unfaltering advocate for the Convention’s universalisation. We are fully committed to supporting the global campaign against mines, as demonstrated by our 2013-2018 Strategy on Mine Action and our Mine Action Team. I pay special tribute to the courageous deminers on the frontlines of our campaign.
Today our common goal of a world free of anti-personnel mines has become an attainable reality, demonstrating the power of multilateralism to reach shared objectives. But we cannot rest as long as anti-personnel mines continue to kill and maim. Some of the world’s largest countries with considerable stocks of anti-personnel landmines remain outside of the Convention. I urge all States that have not done so to accede to the Convention, and call on all States to adhere to other relevant legal instruments. Let us all accelerate efforts to achieve universal adherence.
We must also intensify our work to clear mined areas and destroy stockpiles. I am disappointed that a number of States Parties have failed to meet their stockpile destruction deadlines while others have requested extension of their clearance deadlines. I urge all to spare no effort or resources to comply with obligations within the agreed deadlines.
I call on all States Parties to renew their commitment to action and funding to ensure that survivors enjoy the full range of human rights and fundamental freedoms. I am concerned by the reported use of anti-personnel mines on the territories of States Parties. I urge all States Parties to assist in the clarification of these allegations and strongly support your efforts to further strengthen compliance. I also condemn the use of this horrendous and indiscriminate weapon by States not party to the Convention.
The United Nations is committed to ridding the world of anti-personnel landmines.
I count on your engagement and wish you great success.