Press release | Date: 11/11/2019
‘The world has come a long way towards eliminating landmines, but unfortunately there is still a considerable way to go before we reach the goal of a mine-free world. A growing number of civilians are being maimed and killed as a result of renewed use of banned weapons,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide. On 25 November, she will open the Fourth Review Conference of the Mine Ban Convention.
The Review Conference is being organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and will take place in Oslo from 25 to 29 November. Participants will include ministers, civil society organisations, and mine survivors, as well as high-level representatives of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Unicef, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The opening of the conference will take place at Oslo City Hall on 25 November. HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and the Special Envoys of the Convention, HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium and HRH Prince Mired Raad Zeid Al-Hussein of Jordan, will attend the opening ceremony, together with the Foreign Minister.
‘After many years of progress and fewer people being injured and killed by anti-personnel mines, the situation has deteriorated in recent years. We are particularly concerned about the widespread use of improvised landmines by non-state actors to terrorise civilians,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
This has led to growing numbers of civilians being killed in the conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Eastern Ukraine and Yemen. According to Landmine Monitor, some 6 897 civilians were registered killed or injured by mines in 2018. In addition, a great many incidents are never registered.
‘The aim of the conference is to agree on a new five-year action plan to intensify international efforts to eliminate anti-personnel mines in as many countries as possible. If mine clearance is given priority and the necessary resources are provided, far more countries will be able to declare themselves mine-free in the near future. Norway urges the governments of mine-affected countries, the UN and international aid organisations to strengthen protection against these weapons, which continue to kill and maim people long after conflicts have ended,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (Mine Ban Convention) was adopted in Oslo on 18 September 1997. It currently has 164 States Parties, of which 31 have declared themselves mine-free. Nearly 52 million stockpiled anti-personnel mines have so far been destroyed as a result of the Treaty, each with the potential to maim or kill.
Norway has contributed to mine clearance efforts for 25 years, and is one of the five largest donors to humanitarian mine action with NOK 345 million to support to mine clearance in 20 countries in 2019. Norway holds the presidency of the Mine Ban Convention this year. Ambassador Hans Brattskar at the Permanent Mission of Norway to the UN in Geneva is President of the Convention on Norway’s behalf.
The conference is open to the media. Media Advisory including link to accreditation is available here.