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Maputo – The Convention's Third Review Conference, or Maputo Review Conference on a Mine-Free World, concluded a week of work, with major advances made towards the eradication of anti-personnel mines.
The conference ended with high level representatives signing the Maputo +15 Declaration, in which the Convention's States Parties committed to intensify efforts to clear mined areas and to assist the victims and expressed their aspiration to meet their goals to the fullest extent possible by 2025.
Clearing all mined areas:
- Mozambique affirmed that it will finish its mine clearance by year’s end. When the Convention was adopted, the clearance of all mined areas in Mozambique was a distant prospect, and perhaps to some, unachievable. Now, with the task almost complete, Mozambique has given hope to others that fulfilment of the Convention's time-bound obligations is possible.
- Burundi declared having completed implementation of its mine clearance obligations, becoming the 28th State Party free of landmines.
- Thirty-one (31) States Parties are still in the process of clearing mined areas. Of these, three (3) African States Parties requested and were granted extensions on their mine clearance deadlines:
- Yemen was also granted an extension on its mine clearance deadline until 2020.
- More than 47.5 million stockpiled antipersonnel have been destroyed by the States Parties since the Convention entered into force in 1999.
- Poland, the newest State Party, with a 1 June 2017 deadline for destroying all stockpiled anti-personnel mines, indicated that its stockpile destruction programme continues at a good pace.
- Finland, which became a State Party in 2012 and has a 1 January 2016 deadline to complete the destruction of its stockpile, stated that it foresees ending work ahead of schedule.
- Belarus, Greece and Ukraine – all of which have missed their deadlines for the destruction of all stockpiled anti-personnel mines – reported that their destruction efforts are moving forward.
- Greece reported that it will complete the destruction of approximately 700,000 remaining stockpiled mines in 2015.
- Belarus informed delegates that a new landmine destruction facility has opened to eradicate over 1 million stockpiled landmines.
- Belarus and Ukraine face a particular challenge in needing to destroy millions of the Soviet era PFM-1 mines, which are extremely hazardous and pose serious technical difficulties.
Universal adoption of the Convention:
- Oman announced that it will soon deposit its instrument of accession to the Convention, becoming the 162 State Party. Oman first announced it would join the Convention during a visit to the Sultanate by special envoy, Princess Astrid of Belgium.
- The United States of America announced that “the United States will not produce or otherwise acquire any anti-personnel munitions that are not compliant with the Convention in the future including to replace such munition as they expire in the coming years,” and that it is “diligently pursuing other solutions that would be compliant with the Convention and that would ultimately allow us to accede to the Convention.”
- The Convention’s special envoy, His Royal Highness Prince Mired of Jordan, updated the States Parties on his efforts to universalize the Convention including to the United States of America which are being sponsored by the European Union.
Assisting the victims:
- High level representatives emphasised the need to ensure that mine victims’ needs and rights are addressed as part of broader domains such as disability, health, education, employment, development and poverty reduction.
- A special session to build bridges between the worlds of anti-landmines efforts and efforts to guarantee the rights of persons with disabilities was hosted by the European Union and featured Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium, His Royal Highness Prince Mired of Jordan, the UN Special Rapporteur on Disability Shuaib Chalklen, and several other prominent figures in the disability rights anti-landmines movements. The session was part of larger efforts to link the efforts of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.
- The conference agreed that Ambassador Bertrand de Crombrugghe of Belgium will become the Convention's next President, starting 1 January 2015, and chair the Convention's Fourteenth Meeting of the States Parties at the end of 2015.
- The conference agreed that Chile will host and preside over the Fifteenth Meeting of the States Parties at the end of 2016.
- 79 States Parties participated in the conference, with 12 States not party attending as observers, including the United States of America, China and India. Libya and Lebanon also attended the meeting.
Nearly 1,000 delegates took part in the conference.