Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on parties to a global pact banning the use of mines, booby-traps and other explosive devices against civilians to give greater attention to the humanitarian impact of these deadly weapons.
In a message to the 12th Annual Conference of the High Contracting Parties to Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, Mr. Ban noted that, since its inception, the Protocol has been a driving force in global efforts to eliminate the scourge of landmines, booby-traps and other explosive devices.
Together with the Convention’s Protocol V, the Mine Ban Convention and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, this Protocol has been an integral part of the international legal framework for mine action.
At the same time, he told the gathering in Geneva that after 12 years of successful implementation of the Amended Protocol II, the time has come to review the performance of the original Protocol II.
“I urge you to continue focusing on efforts to strengthen the operation of the Protocol and its implementation mechanism,” he said in the message, which was delivered by Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva and Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament.
“In particular, more attention should be paid to the protection of civilians and to the humanitarian impact of improvised explosive devices,” he stated.
Mr. Ban also stressed the importance of universalizing the Protocol, calling on countries that have not yet done so to join the 95 States that have already consented to be bound by the pact.
“With every new State that agrees to adhere to the Protocol, we increase our chances of preventing future tragedies,” he said.