Participants in the International Forum on Mines, which took place today in Algiers, praised the commitment of African countries to eliminate anti-personnel mines, congratulating Algeria on its “pioneering” role in this field.
And on the occasion of this international forum, which was initiated by the Ministry of Mujahideen and People with Rights, and marked by “For a safe Africa, free of mines,” the Assistant Secretary-General of the International Conference on Disarmament, Melanie Regimbal, called, in a recorded intervention, countries to comply with the Ottawa Treaty on Landmines Anti-personnel, stressing that the United Nations is making great efforts to respect this document and ensure the well-being and safety of people.
And the UN official stated, “During the past year, we commemorated the 25th anniversary of the ratification of the Convention on Anti-Personnel Mines, which today has become an essential element of our security policy and an effective contribution to saving people’s lives.”
In this regard, Mrs. Regimbal indicated that an international legal framework had been developed in this regard, and accordingly, the danger associated with anti-personnel mines had decreased significantly.
She also expressed her satisfaction at the fact that “more than 55 million anti-personnel mines have been destroyed around the world,” a figure that “indicates the will of countries to respect agreements aimed at making the world safer.”
The intervention noted Algeria’s initiative in organizing this forum, which would translate into joint actions in the field of combating anti-personnel mines.
And she considered, in another context, that the victims are now getting better sponsorship compared to previous years, but she stressed that “the challenges in Africa are huge and require greater mobilization and more solidarity to solve them.”
Algeria is an example to follow
For her part, Germany’s ambassador to Algeria, Elisabeth Wolbress, whose country presides over the Ottawa Treaty, stressed the need to ensure that anti-personnel mines are not completely used.
And the ambassador added, “The Mine Ban Treaty is evidence that effective multilateral action is possible in the field of arms control.”
Wolbress also congratulated the Algerian government for organizing this important regional forum and for sharing its experience and expertise in the field of combating landmines.
As for the Director of the Support Unit for the Individual Mine Ban Treaty, Juan Carlos Ruan, he called for the strengthening of regional participation in the process of the Convention and for a joint and collective approach inspired by the best examples, especially from Algeria, which completed the course of demining.
In this regard, he mentioned that “Algeria is an important example, as it completed the process of embodying its commitments related to demining in February 2017, as it destroyed millions of mines at the level of hundreds of millions of square meters.”
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