Geneva, 1 March 2016 – Chile, the current Presidency of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention, is marking seventeen years of treaty successes, and calling on all parties to redouble their efforts in one "Last Stretch" to meet the Convention's humanitarian goals to the fullest extent possible by 2025.
“Seventeen years of intense work have brought us to where we are today; almost half of all States Parties that have reported mined areas have indicated that they have fulfilled their clearance obligations and more than 48 million stockpiled mines have been destroyed”, said Ambassador Marta Maurás, who represents the Chilean Presidency in Geneva. "The Convention Presidency is proud to lead this treaty that has collected such good will and achieved so much."
"There are 162 States Parties which have made a solemn commitment to address mined areas, eliminate stockpiles and provide assistance to landmine victims and survivors everywhere. Despite significant progress, challenges remain and we call on all States and interested stakeholders to publicly pledge their support through funding, bilateral and multilateral arrangements and partnerships, so that we can meet our aims by 2025", the Ambassador added.
In 2014 the States Parties reaffirmed their commitment to ending the era of anti-personnel mines once and for all, and aspiring to meet these goals to the fullest extent possible by 2025. To achieve these aims, the Convention’s Presidency will be hosting the First Pledging Conference for Implementation of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, at the highest level possible, from 15:00-18:00 on Wednesday, 2 March, in Room XXV, UN Geneva. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, H.E. Heraldo Muñoz, will chair the High-Level Segment.
The Chilean Minister will be accompanied by H.E. Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada where the Convention was signed 19 years ago; H.E. María Ángela Holguín, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia; Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross; Tammy Hall, Head of Danish Demining Group, Firoz Alizada, Campaigns Manager at the International Campaign to Ban Landmines; former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan; and Michael Moeller, Director of the United Nations Office at Geneva. Japan, Sudan, Switzerland and Thailand are also expected to participate in the Conference at a ministerial level.
“This is the time to appeal to all countries that have the financial, material or technical resources to assist mine-affected countries in providing adequate technical support for mine clearance, stockpile destruction and assistance to landmine survivors; and, for mine-affected States to announce national commitments to their mine action and victim assistance programmes.”
The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention was adopted in Oslo in 1997, opened for signature in Ottawa the same year and entered into force on 1 March 1999.