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Secretary-General decries devastation caused by landmines

Secretary-General decries devastation caused by landmines

Landmines and other explosive weapons exacerbate the suffering wrought by war, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, appealing for the elimination of these “distressing and pernicious” devices to remain a global priority.

The weapons, which devastate both civilians and combatants, “prolong the horrendous consequences of armed conflicts,” Mr. Ban said in a message delivered by Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva, to the ninth annual conference on the Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.

“Their developmental and humanitarian impact on post-conflict societies threatens future generations,” he added.

Mr. Ban stressed that Amended Protocol II – which entered into force in December 1998 and currently has 88 States parties – is key in outlawing the devices.

“Universal adherence to this instrument is of primary importance,” the Secretary-General stated, urging intensified efforts to increase the number of countries adhering to the pact.

He appealed to nations which have yet to do so to ratify other international agreements serving as the legal framework of mine action, including the Mine Ban Convention and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.