EU calls on those using landmines to cease their use
Vienna, Brussels, Geneva – The European Union (EU) has announced additional support to help States Parties implement their obligations under the Convention, reaffirming its strong support for the Convention's aims during the Sixteenth Meeting of the States Parties in Vienna.
“The EU condemns the use of anti-personnel mines by any actor, whether States or non-state actors. We also appeal to all States not party to the Convention and non-state actors to stop manufacturing, trading and using these weapons,” said Jacek Bylica, the EU’s Special Envoy for Disarmament and Non-proliferation during the meeting.
“Particularly worrying is the use of improvised anti-personnel mines in the context of urban warfare, specifically aimed at terrorising civilians and hindering the return of internally displaced persons and refugees. This is a key driver in forcing people to leave their homes and a major factor behind the current refugee crisis,” added Jacek Bylica.
“The use of improvised anti-personnel mines has created new large-scale contamination in Iraq, a State Party to the Convention, and Libya and Syria, which have not yet joined. The use of these improvised mines has resulted in a reversal of the downward trend in the number of global mine casualties for the second year in a row since the entry into force of the Convention. The new threats must be addressed with determination, without distracting attention from the vast areas across the world that remain inaccessible due to legacy mine contamination,” said the EU Envoy, meaning countries like Angola, Cambodia and Zimbabwe which are still suffering the effects of landmines planted decades ago.
“Their impact continues to disproportionately affect rural communities, usually some of the poorest, as well as minorities and marginalised groups. They should not be forgotten. In light of these developments, it is necessary to reaffirm our commitment with regard to international cooperation and assistance, as the obligation to rid the world of anti-personnel mines is a collective effort by all States Parties.”