Myanmar seriously considering international landmine treaty as part of its state reforms
Phnom Penh and Geneva, 12 July 2012 – Myanmar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, U Wunna Maung Lwin, said his government is seriously considering all key disarmament treaties including the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention, as part of its state reforms, and was optimistic that his government would positively consider the treaty.
The Minister’s comments came during a high-level meeting with the Convention’s President, H.E. PRAK Sokhonn of Cambodia, during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting on 11 July in Phnom Penh.
At the invitation of the Convention’s President, Myanmar, which had never participated in a meeting of the Convention, attended and addressed its Eleventh Meeting of the States Parties, which took place late last year in Phnom Penh. At the 11 July meeting, H.E. PRAK Sokhonn reiterated his hope that Myanmar would “continue to engage in the work of the Convention by attending the annual Meeting of the States Parties.”
Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin said he would ensure that Myanmar’s Permanent Mission in Geneva attended future meetings of the Convention. The next meeting of the States Parties will take place from 3 to 7 December 2012 at the United Nations in Geneva, where over 800 diplomats and landmine experts representing over 100 States are expected to attend.
H.E. PRAK Sokhonn also expressed the hope that, in addition to Myanmar, all ASEAN States that have not yet done so would one day join the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. “Accession to the Convention by yet another Southeast Asian State would help strengthen the international movement to eradicate anti-personnel mines,” said H.E. PRAK Sokhonn, who in addition to leading the Convention, serves as Minister Attached to the Prime Minister of Cambodia and is the Vice-President of the Cambodia Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority.
Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin said his government is no longer using landmines and is seeking a peace pact with armed non-State actors, which would include banning these weapons.
H.E. PRAK Sokhonn of Cambodia also encouraged Myanmar to survey mined areas, mark hazardous areas, deliver mine risk education and assist landmine survivors. “In keeping with the principle of international cooperation, one of key elements of the Convention, we offer to Myanmar the assistance it may deem necessary, including by sending Cambodian experts to Myanmar or providing Myanmar delegations with an opportunity to see firsthand mine action activities in Cambodia,” said H.E. PRAK Sokhonn.
To date 160 States have joined the Convention, 155 of them no longer hold stocks of anti-personnel mines. Of the 56 States Parties that have reported mined areas, 20 are now mine-free.
For media questions regarding the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, please contact Laila Rodriguez at l.rodriguez@APMineBanConvention.orgPress@APMineBanConvention.org or at +41 22 906 16 56. Connect with the Convention through our website, Facebook, Flickr or Twitter.