Campaigners around the globe are
taking action this week to once again draw the world’s attention to the
horrific consequences of landmines and to call for renewed efforts toward a
mine-free world. The campaign is led by the International
campaign to ban land mines, a network of more than 1400 non-governmental
organizations in 90 countries working for a global ban on landmines.
Today (March 1, 2009) the world marks ten years since the treaty banning antipersonnel mines became binding
Gabelnick, the Treaty Implementation Director at the International campaign to
ban land mines, told VOA’s Douglas Mpuga that the main aim of the treaty was to
actually ban antipersonnel landmines. “It’s a complete ban on the use,
production, stockpiling and transfer of anti-personnel landmines. Also, to
provide for the clearance of the landmines, and to provide assistance to
landmine victims, she added”.
Speaking from the French capital, Paris, Gabelnick noted that the first purpose of mine ban treaty was to ban
the weapons, and that has been a uniform success. “There are 156 states that
are party to the convention to ban land mines – that means 156 states that will
never again produce, use or transfer landmines”.
She said the other successes
have been the clearance of the land, a process she described as a tool through
which mine clearance is happening in dozens of countries around the world.
and assistance is also a requirement of the treaty which means countries that
are not manufacturers but have more resources are required to give to other
states, provide victim assistance, and destroy stockpiles.”
Gabelnick said that although
in the past ten years over 40 million landmines have been destroyed, a mine
free world means “the full universalization and implementation of the
convention”. “It’s not possible to find each and every mine because, of course,
they are hidden in the ground, but a mine free world means trying as much as
possible to get rid of all the mines - and that is possible”.
that there are only 39 countries outside the treaty and only two countries are
said to be actually using landmines. “So much has been achieved but there is
still a lot of work to be done and later this year there will be a conference
to review what progress has been made and what remains to be done.