Reiterating the commitment of the United Nations to ridding the world of anti-personnel landmines, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for accelerating efforts towards achieving this goal and strengthening adherence to the global treaty dealing with the issue.
"Today, our common goal of a world free of anti-personnel mines has become an attainable reality, demonstrating the power of multilateralism to reach shared objectives. But we cannot rest as long as anti-personnel mines continue to kill and maim," Mr. Ban said in a message to a conference in Maputo.
Mozambique is hosting the Third Review Conference of the States Parties to the Anti-personnel Mine Ban Convention - which bans the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines - 15 years after it hosted the first meeting under the treaty.
In the message, which was delivered by High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane, the Secretary-General noted that some of the world's largest countries with considerable stocks of anti-personnel landmines remain outside of the Convention.
"I urge all States that have not done so to accede to the Convention, and call on all States to adhere to other relevant legal instruments. Let us all accelerate efforts to achieve universal adherence."
He also cited the need to intensify efforts to clear mined areas and destroy stockpiles. "I am disappointed that a number of States Parties have failed to meet their stockpile destruction deadlines while others have requested extension of their clearance deadlines," he stated. "I urge all to spare no effort or resources to comply with obligations within the agreed deadlines."
States Parties were also called on to renew their commitment to action and funding to ensure that survivors enjoy the full range of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
"I am concerned by the reported use of anti-personnel mines on the territories of States Parties. I urge all States Parties to assist in the clarification of these allegations and strongly support your efforts to further strengthen compliance. I also condemn the use of this horrendous and indiscriminate weapon by States not party to the Convention."
According to the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), 10 people are killed or maimed by a landmine every single day. Beyond removing landmines from the ground, mine action entails actions ranging from teaching people how to protect themselves from danger in a mine-affected environment to advocating for a mine-free world.
Mr. Ban applauded the extraordinary results achieved since the First Meeting of the States Parties, noting that the UN has assisted more than 50 affected States while standing as an "unfaltering advocate" for the Convention's universalisation.