Geneva, 4 December 2015 — Chile, the upcoming Chair of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention, held an informal regional meeting in Geneva seeking to determine the challenges that remain in mine clearance and victim assistance among mine-affected countries in South America, and hear from those that have already fulfilled their Convention obligations.
"Chile will assign special importance to landmine survivors' rights in wider contexts of disability, and to rights-based national plans for the care and rehabilitation of landmine survivors," said Marta Maurás, Ambassador of Chile to the UN in Geneva.
Four Latin American States Parties have indicated responsibility for a significant number of landmine survivors: Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Peru.
"It is important that as States Parties we ensure the reintegration of landmine victims into society on an equal basis with other citizens," said the Ambassador.
With this meeting, Chile also sought better understanding of the overall situation of the regional demining process.
"In 2010, Central America became the first region to declare itself free of the scourge of anti-personnel mines, it is our desire that South America be next; we will be able to achieve this once Chile and four other sister nations, Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, attain our mine clearance goals," said Marta Maurás.
In 2014, the States Parties adopted the Maputo Action Plan, aiming to complete global demining by 2025. "Since the next meeting of the Convention will be held in South America, it is relevant to see where the region stands in meeting our time-bound obligations," noted the Ambassador.
Chile, which ratified the Convention in 2001 and has a mine clearance deadline of 2020, takes over the Presidency of the Convention as the Fourteenth Meeting of the States Parties (14MSP) closes on 4 December.
Chile will then preside over the Fifteenth Meeting of the States Parties (15MSP) from November 28 to December 2, 2016 in Santiago de Chile.
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