Tajikistan's Request for a 10 year extension of demining deadlines

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Tajikistan's Request for a 10 year extension of demining deadlines was supported by the member states of the Ottawa convention at the Cartagena Summit titled "A Mine-Free World".

Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World or the Second Review conference on consideration the Ottawa Convention on prohibition of antipersonnel mines was held in Cartagena, Columbia on Nov. 29-Dec. 4, 2009 by which it became an important event in the history of this Convention.

Next to the historical signing of the Convention in Ottawa (Canada) on December 1997 the Cartagena Summit is the most significant summit of the various countries of the world that was dedicated to resolving a global issue of common concern.

Tajikistan's visiting delegation headed by Minister of Justice Republic of Tajikistan Mr. Khudoyorov Bakhtior Tabarovich along with representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense and the Mine Action Center of Tajikistan attended the Cartagena Summit.

The Deputy President of Columbia, the Princess of Belgium, the Prince of Jordan, ministers and deputy ministers and other high ranking officials of the member states of the Ottawa Convention took part at the summit at the highest level on Dec 3-4, 2009.

On behalf of the Tajik government, the Minister of Justice Republic of Tajikistan, Mr. Khudoyorov B.T. made a speech at the summit and attached importance to the progress, achieved by Tajikistan on implementing Ottawa Convention during the past years and noted that Republic of Tajikistan continues to implement its Convention obligations and make contributions for universalization of Ottawa convention and expressed Tajikistan's support for the action plan of Cartagena Summit for 2010-2014.

In his speech, Minister of Justice of Tajikistan drew attention of participants of the Cartagena Second Review Conference to the mine threats on the Tajik-Uzbek border and reiterated that the mines laid by the Uzbek side on border areas have caused huge damage to the population and to the national economy of border areas of Tajikistan. Since 1999 till now in border areas of the Tajik-Uzbek border 161 Tajik citizens totally have suffered, from whom 87 got wounded and 74 other lost their lives. Among them 14 children received injury and 15 died and in addition to this 6 women got wounded and 4 died.

Antipersonnel mines till now make real threat to inhabitants of the border areas. It is to be regretted that cases of mine explosions incidents proceed till today. Last year on the Tajik-Uzbek border 2 people lost their lives by mine explosions.

The Minister of justice Republic of Tajikistan called the world community not to be indifferent to Tajikistan's problems regarding the existence of mine fields along its borders and to the mine threats face the inhabitants of Central Asia. Let each mine explosion on border of the states of the region which is carrying away lives of innocent people, sound an alarm in all states adhering to the principles of humanism.

In particular it was marked, that Republic of Uzbekistan, being the participant of all international documents on human rights and a member of set of universal, regional and international organizations, has confirmed the adherence to basic principles of human rights which basis the inalienable law of the human - makes the right for a life. And it should impose the certain obligations on maintenance of peace and civilized coexistence.

Tajik minister added that Tajikistan seeks a Mine Free Central Asia. In this regard, we call the states of the Central Asia to join to the Ottawa Convention; to take joint practical measures on clearance of the mine affected areas and mine related challenges.

After his official speech the Minister of justice Republic of Tajikistan signed on behalf of the Tajik Government the Cartagena Action Plan 2009 « Shared Commitment on a World free of Mine » whereby the adherence of the member states of Ottawa convention to achieve a world free of mine and to terminate the sufferings affected by antipersonnel mines proves to be true.

At the end of the Cartagena discussions, Tajikistan asked for a 10-year extension to clear all landmines on its territory. Tajikistan's request was maintained by the member states of the Ottawa Convention at the summit.

At the final statement the action plan of Cartagena for 2010-2014 was approved and accepted, and a number of other important decisions were adopted.

Results of the Cartagena Summit are extremely important and have undoubtedly great value for all mankind. It has shown determination of all progressive forces of the planet to mobilize the forces and to struggle for disposal of the world of mines until this deadly weapon will not cease to threaten the life of people worldwide.