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Algeria to lead major anti-landmines meeting



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A selection of photos of Algeria in the Convention on Flickr

Geneva – Over 800 participants from more than 100 countries will gather in Geneva from 2-5 December, at the Thirteenth Meeting of the States Parties (13MSP) of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention or Ottawa Convention. Delegates will discuss progress made and challenges remaining in achieving a mine-free world and to set the stage for a major review of this landmark treaty. 

The Convention’s Meetings of the States Parties are the largest annual gatherings of senior officials and experts concerned with ending the suffering caused by anti-personnel mines. The 13MSP will be the last annual assessment of the implementation of the Convention prior to the Third Review Conference which will take place in Maputo, Mozambique in 2014. This assessment will be recorded in the 13MSP’s Geneva Progress Report, which will be adopted on 5 December. 

H.E. Boudjemâa Delmi, Ambassador of Algeria to the United Nations in Geneva will preside over the meeting, which is being hosted by Switzerland. 

“The suffering caused by anti-personnel mines remains real in over 25 countries, including in Algeria,” said Ambassador Delmi. “Algeria is fully committed to meeting its 2017 mine clearance deadline. Our engagement to date has seen us achieve a major milestone: We have destroyed over 876.500 anti-personnel mines emplaced. In total, 7,819,120 anti-personnel have been destroyed between 1963-1988, and over 50,000 hectares of land have been released for normal human activity.” 

“I encourage all States Parties to overcome the remaining challenges, in particular by working together to assist and cooperate with one another to demine and to assist the victims,” said Ambassador Delmi, noting that the 13MSP will feature a special session on enhancing international cooperation to accelerate implementation.

“While our work to implement the Convention must continue for several years, the 13MSP takes place at a time when the number of casualties is dropping,” said Ambassador Delmi. “This indicates that the Convention is effectively meeting its goals, even if a lot more needs to be done before we can conclude our work.”

Algerian delegation at the Convention's Twelfth Meeting of the States Parties

The Convention was adopted in Oslo in 1997, opened for signature in Ottawa the same year and entered into force on 1 March 1999. A total of 161 States have joined, including the vast majority of States that at one time produced anti-personnel mines and most of the world’s mine-affected countries.

Over 44.5 million stockpiled mines have been destroyed by the States Parties and millions of square metres of once-dangerous lands have been released for normal human activity.

For press inquiries, contact: Laila Rodriguez press(at)apminebanconvention.org or +41 (0) 22 906 1656. Find the Convention on FacebookFlickr and Twitter.