Universality of global pact on mines and other explosive devices vital Ban

11 November 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for greater efforts to expand the number of signatories, especially among developing countries and States in conflict, to a global pact banning the use of mines, booby-traps and other explosive devices against civilians. Congratulating the 93 States that have consented to be bound by Amended Protocol II of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), he called on those countries that have not yet done so to ratify the pact as soon as possible.“The universality of the Protocol remains of vital importance,” he said in a message to the 11th Annual Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Protocol, taking place in Geneva. The Secretary-General commended the decision to re-establish the Group of Experts, an informal mechanism that has helped to improve understanding of the impact of improvised explosive devices on civilians and combatants alike, and urged parties to continue to make use of it. He also called on all States that have not yet done so to ratify the other international treaties in the field of mine action, including the Mine Ban Convention and the new Convention on Cluster Munitions, which is expected to enter into force in the near future.In addition, he drew attention to the grave threats to civilians posed by mines other than anti-personnel mines, which in many regions are another serious obstacle to the delivery of humanitarian aid, the return to normal civilian life after hostilities, and economic development.“Although CCW States parties have not yet found agreement on this topic, I consider it my duty to bring this issue to your attention yet again, since the grave effects of such mines continue to be felt,” he stated. read more