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Lima and Geneva – Special envoy of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention, His Royal Highness Prince Mired Raad Al Hussein of Jordan, has commended the President of Peru, Ollanta Humala, for Peru’s steadfast commitment to eradicate anti-personnel mines and to assist landmine victims.
“Peru has made good progress in mine clearance, including by carrying out work to demine its border with Ecuador and by removing all mines that had been placed around infrastructure,” said Prince Mired.
“I am pleased that only approximately 437,654 square metres of contaminated land remains and that Peru is on track to complete implementation by its 1 March 2017 Convention deadline.”
Peru’s original deadline for demining had been set for 2009. However, due in part to the remote and challenging location of the mined areas, Peru requested an extended deadline.
Prince Mired served as the Convention’s President at the time when Peru presented its request for an extended demining deadline.
“I appreciate that Peru, through exchanges of information with Ecuador, has learned that the area contaminated by landmines in Peru is in fact greater than originally estimated when Peru requested more time to complete demining,” said Prince Mired.
“However, I am pleased that Peru will revise its national plan to take into account these additional mined areas with a view to fully implementing the Convention by 1 March 2017.”
Prince Mired credited Peru for strengthening cooperation with Ecuador.
“Strengthening cross-border cooperation has been instrumental in facilitating demining operations in both Peru and Ecuador,” said Prince Mired.
“Peruvian-Ecuadorian bilateral cooperation could serve as a model to be replicated by other States with border demining challenges.”
The President of Peru received Prince Mired in Lima - Photo courtesy of the Government of Peru
Prince Mired also commended Peru for having initiated a national process to revise Peru’s national action plan for the equalisation of opportunities for persons with disabilities to bring it in line with Peru’s obligations under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its commitments to landmine victims.
“Peru has acted on observations made by the United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that more needed to be done to involve persons with disabilities in matters that concern them,” said Prince Mired.
“In addition, by taking decisive steps to involve persons with disabilities in national planning, Peru has complied with political commitments made by States Parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention to ensure the inclusion and full and active participation of mine victims and their representative organisations.”
Peru has reported that 339 individuals have been killed or injured by mines, with 284 having survived and with most, if not all of these survivors, now living with disabilities.
During his visit to Lima, Prince Mired also met with Dr. Wilfredo Guzmán, President of Peru’s national disability council, CONADIS. Dr. Guzmán has been a central figure in international efforts to build bridges between landmine victim assistance and broader efforts related to disability rights.
Prince Mired’s visit to Peru was sponsored by the European Union as a follow-up to a 2013 European Union-supported conference in Lima which brought together Peruvian and Ecuadoran officials to assess demining progress by each state.
The European Union has also been instrumental in supporting Peru’s efforts to revise its national disability action plan.
The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention was adopted in Oslo in 1997, opened for signature in Ottawa the same year and entered into force on 1 March 1999.
To date, 161 States have joined the Convention, including every State in the Americas except Cuba and the United States.
Since entering into force, millions of square metres of once dangerous lands have been released for normal human activity and approximately 47.5 million stockpiled mines have been destroyed.
For press inquiries, contact: Laila Rodriguez press(at)apminebanconvention.org, +41 (0) 22 730 9350. Find the Convention on Facebook, Flickr and Twitter.