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Afghanistan: UN envoy welcomes adoption of anti-landmine treaty

Afghanistan: UN envoy welcomes adoption of anti-landmine treaty

The United Nations top official in Afghanistan – the world’s most mine-infested country – today hailed the country’s decision to adopt an international treaty banning the deadly weapons.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi welcomed the decision by the Afghan Transitional Authority to accede to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and Their Destruction.

“This announcement illustrates the determination of President Hamid Karzai, his Government and the people of Afghanistan to turn away from decades of conflict, and to embrace a peaceful future,” UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said.

The decision, the spokesman added, gave renewed significance to efforts to clear Afghanistan of mines and unexploded ordnance, and to destroy existing stockpiles. “The United Nations is committed to supporting President Karzai and his Government in their efforts to rid the country of the menace of mines and counts on the international community to provide continued financial support for this vital work,” Mr. Eckhard said.