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Ban Ki-moon appeals for ongoing fight to eradicate landmines

Ban Ki-moon appeals for ongoing fight to eradicate landmines

On the tenth anniversary of the landmark international anti-mine treaty, Ban Ki-moon today urged the world’s peoples and governments to continue the fight to abolish anti-personnel landmines.

The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction opened for signature in Ottawa, Canada, in 1997. At present, it has been signed by133 States, while 156 States have formally agreed to be bound by the treaty.

“The Convention is a reality because people and governments all around the world agreed that anti-personnel landmines have no place in our world,” Mr. Ban said in a message marking the occasion. “On this anniversary, let us recommit ourselves to their elimination.”

In the decade since the treaty – often referred to as the Ottawa Convention – opened for signature, legal trade in anti-personnel landmines has been halted, tens of millions of stockpiled landmines have been destroyed and land has been cleared and returned to communities, he pointed out.

“The road to a mine-free world is long, but an end is in sight,” the Secretary-General observed. “But even after all the mines are out of the ground, a major challenge will remain: to provide the hundreds of thousands of people who have survived landmine accidents with all the support they need to become and remain active and productive members of the communities.”