Demining experts from Peru and Ecuador met in Lima at a European Union funded workshop.
Lima and Geneva – Demining experts from Peru and Ecuador have begun two days of meetings to advance their efforts to demine their mutual border in compliance with their obligations under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention, which both countries joined in 1999.
At a workshop entitled “Walking Together,” Peru and Ecuador will take stock of what has been achieved since 2009 when both countries received extensions of their deadlines, to 2017, to complete demining in accordance with their Convention obligations. The workshop is the first of several that around the world which is sponsored by the European Union as part of the EU’s commitment to achieve a mine-free world.
Both Peru and Ecuador have made Presidential-level commitments to accelerate joint efforts in order to complete mine clearance before their 2017 extended deadline. Since 2009, the two countries have intensified collaboration to clear the remaining contamination on their common border, including by exchanging information on mined areas.
“In the five years since Peru and Ecuador were granted extensions on their demining deadlines, there have been numerous advances made in demining methods, more information has been acquired on the challenging environment where the mines are found, and cross-border collaboration has deepened,” said Juan Carlos Ruan, Mine Action Specialist with the Convention's Implementation Support Unit.
“I am pleased, therefore, that Peru and Ecuador are taking advantage of support provided by the European Union to update their knowledge of the remaining landmine challenge and to recalibrate their plans accordingly.”
The landmine challenge faced by both Peru and Ecuador stems from a 1995 border conflict. Peru and Ecuador soon after renounced any future use of anti-personnel mines; both countries having become some of the earliest adherents to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.
European Union funding for “Walking Together” is part of the European Union’s two-year Council Decision in support of the implementation of the Cartagena Action Plan, which contains 67 political commitments guiding the pursuit of the Convention’s aims during the period 2010 to 2014. Additional States Parties to the Convention which are in the process of demining or assisting landmine survivors will also benefit from similar initiatives in coming months.
This European Union Council Decision is being implemented by the Convention’s Implementation Support Unit (ISU) based in Geneva.
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