Geneva, 24 May 2019 – Greece has announced that after a series of setbacks, the Hellenic Defence Systems has made considerable progress destroying hundreds of thousands anti-personnel mines it still held in stock, advancing Greece’s fulfilment of a key obligation under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.
“It is our pleasure to announce that between 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, more than 295,000 anti-personnel mines have been demilitarised therefore speeding up our destruction process to meet Convention obligations as soon as possible,” said Mr Giannis Michelogiannakis a representative of the Hellenic Republic during the Intersessional Meetings taking place in Geneva on 22-24 May.
In total, 1,224,754 anti-personnel mines have been destroyed by Greece, with 343,413 remaining to be destroyed.
“In addition to the considerable number of mines destroyed in accordance to the highest environmental and security standards, the Hellenic Republic is pleased to announce that the number of anti-personnel mines kept for training purposes has been reduced by an additional 1,600,” added the Greek representative.
The Convention President, whose mandate includes overseeing the work of States Parties undertaking destruction of stocks, warmly welcomed the news, especially due to the sizable stock and type of landmines Greece has had to destroy.
“We are pleased to note the progress reported and hope that by the Oslo Review Conference Greece will be able to confirm destruction of all stockpiled mines by the end of 2019”, said the Convention President H.E. Hans Brattskar Ambassador of Norway to the UN in Geneva.
With these mines destroyed by Greece, the 164 States Parties have collectively destroyed nearly 53 million anti-personnel mines making this disarmament obligation one of the greatest successes of the Convention.
Press note: The Intersessional Meetings in Geneva, attended by nearly 300 delegates, provide treaty members with the opportunity to trace progress and map remaining challenges towards implementation of the Convention, including the provision of assistance to victims of these weapons.
The meeting in Geneva is the last major international gathering before the 25-28 November Fourth Review Conference or Oslo Review Conference on a Mine-Free World.
It is expected that in Oslo the international community will not only adopt a political declaration, but also the Oslo Action Plan – a roadmap to assist implementation of the Convention for the next five years. The Convention is for the first time going back to where it was adopted two decades ago.
For more information, contact the Convention's Implementation Support Unit, isu(at)apminebanconvention.org