I am pleased to greet the Fifteenth Meeting of the States Parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.
I commend Chile for hosting and presiding over the Meeting, and for its leadership in achieving the goals of the Convention.
The Mine Ban Convention is an example of the extraordinary results that can be accomplished when different stakeholders join forces.
The direct humanitarian effects of this Convention on peace and development are visible in the daily life of ordinary people: lives have been saved, roads have been cleared, schools reopened, land returned to agricultural use and refugees and displaced persons have been able to safely return to their homes or find alternative durable solutions. These are commendable achievements.
This is a model to follow in the context of the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, which explicitly recognize the links between development, peace and security.
The international community has clearly stated that there can be no tolerance for weapons that kill and maim indiscriminately, and that anti-personnel landmines have no place in a civilized world. I therefore commend your determination to achieve by 2025 the noble goal of a mine-free world. The United Nations will provide its full support and cooperation in this endeavor.
There is still much to be done. Since we are now at the halfway point in implementing the Maputo Action Plan, I encourage you to accelerate your collective efforts. We must assist landmine victims, clear mine-contaminated areas without delay, destroy stockpiles and mitigate the risk of their use by non-state actors. At a time when the world is seeing appalling attacks on civilians and a disturbing erosion in respect for international humanitarian law, breaches of the Convention should be clearly denounced.
I call upon the international community to show continued generosity for ending the suffering caused by anti-personnel mines. States in a position to do so should provide resources to those affected States committed to meet their obligations. I also urge you to secure the resources necessary for the operation of the Convention and to comply with your financial obligations under the Convention.
The Mine Ban Convention is among the international community’s most valuable tools for ensuring that this and future generations enjoy a safer and more secure world.
I renew my call on all States that have not yet done so to accede to the Convention as soon as possible.
I also pay tribute to the indispensable role and leadership of civil society in advancing this work.
Please accept my best wishes for the success of your deliberations.