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Joint statement

Joint statement on the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Anti-Personnel Mine-Ban Treaty

Top UN officials cite progress in eliminating landmines and call on Member States to take up new challenges

The following is a statement issued jointly by the heads of UN departments, agencies, funds, and programmes that are members of the UN Mine Action Team for the occasions of the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Anti-Personnel Mine-Ban Treaty and the opening of the 62nd session of the General Assembly on 18 September 2007:

We applaud the progress made in the struggle against the scourge of landmines since the Anti-Personnel Mine-Ban Treaty was adopted 10 years ago. The steady decline in casualty rates, the return of formerly mined areas to productive civilian use, and the destruction of tens of millions of these indiscriminate weapons are encouraging.

The Anti-Personnel Mine-Ban Treaty is a testament to what can be achieved when the international community works collectively to tackle a grave humanitarian and development challenge. The United Nations Mine Action Team of organizations pledges to do everything within our mandates to assist mine-affected countries in meeting their obligations to clear mined areas, assist victims, destroy stockpiled mines, and educate men, women, boys and girls about the dangers of mines and explosive remnants of war.  Mine-affected countries themselves should also do everything in their power to meet their obligations.  We call on those in a position to do so to support all aspects of mine action for as long as it takes to finish the job.

As Member States gather today for the beginning of the 62nd General Assembly, we hope that the successes of the Treaty will inspire the international community to rise to the challenge of protecting the rights of the estimated 400,000 people who have survived mine and explosive remnant of war accidents and call on all States to ratify the new Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Also, we strongly urge Member States to develop a legally binding instrument prohibiting cluster munitions that cause unacceptable harm to civilians. 

As the world reflects on the progress made by mine-affected countries in the past 10 years, we also look forward to the next decade, envisioning a world free from the suffering caused by anti-personnel mines.

Principals of the United Nations Mine Action Team

  • Louise Arbour, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization
  • Kemal Dervis, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme
  • Jacques Diouf, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Sergio de Queiroz Duarte, High Representative, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs
  • Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Under-Secretary-General, United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations
  • António Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • John Holmes, Emergency Relief Coordinator, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
  • Jan Mattsson, Executive Director, United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Rachel N. Mayanja, Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
  • Josette Sheeran, Executive Director, World Food Programme
  • Ann M. Veneman, Executive Director, UNICEF
  • Robert B. Zoellick, President, World Bank

For more information, contact:
Richard Kollodge, United Nations Mine Action Service, Department of Peacekeeping Operations, in New York at +1-212 963-5677, e-mail: kollodge@un.org




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