Speech/statement | Date: 29/11/2019
By Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide (Oslo, 29 November 2019)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide's closing statement at the Fourth Review Conference of the Mine Ban Convention in Oslo 29 November 2019.
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Your Royal Highness, ladies and gentlemen, friends of the Mine Ban Convention,
At around five in the afternoon on Wednesday what we are here to make sure does not happen – happened again.
In northern Afghanistan, a car hit a landmine. Fifteen people lost their lives. Eight of them were children.
My thoughts go to their friends and family, and to Afghanistan – a country that has suffered much hardship.
And this is not a one off incident.
This is a grim example of the rise in casualties in countries affected by armed conflict.
It is an example of the increasing trend of non-state actors using improvised landmines to target innocent civilians.
And it is a strong reminder – to all of us – that landmines are not a problem of the past.
Later today, you will adopt the final documents presented by Norway`s presidency.
The Oslo Action Plan will be a reference point for implementation of all aspects of the Mine Ban Convention for the next five years.
12 months ago, we identified four thematic priorities for Norway`s presidency, and we are happy to see them all reflected in the draft action plan. The priorities are:
- increased progress in survey and clearance.
- ensuring that use of anti-personnel mines of an improvised nature is addressed within the Convention.
- strengthening the humanitarian protection aspect of the Convention through mine risk education for affected communities and vulnerable groups
- and ensuring that a gender perspective is integrated in all aspects of mine action.
This action plan is the result of hard work and joint priorities from all state parties.
It belongs to all of us, and we share the responsibility for its implementation.
A mine-free world by 2025 remains our vision, and we believe that the Oslo Action Plan provides the momentum needed to make progress.
When the Oslo Review Conference ends, Sudan takes over the presidency, and I assure Sudan of our full support.
In closing: let us all remind ourselves that a world free of landmines is ambitious – but not in any way impossible.