Call For Greater Efforts to Remove the Threat of Landmines

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The General Assembly has called on countries, institutions and United Nations
agencies to step up their collective efforts to eliminate the threat posed by
landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) as the
number of deaths and injuries worldwide from such hazards continues to fall.

In a resolution, UN Member States stressed the importance of countries drawing
up national mine action plans and ensuring they have the necessary funding and
technical expertise to carry out the work of removing and disabling mines and
munitions and educating the public about the threats posed by them.

The resolution also specifies the need to ensure victim assistance programmes
are incorporated into national development plans and to make sure that mine
action activities take account of the different needs of various segments of the
population, including children.

In his most recent report on UN assistance in mine action, Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon says mine action plays a critical role in five major areas connected to
the broader work of the UN – peace and security, humanitarian affairs, economic
development, human rights and international law.

Presenting the report to the Assembly’s fourth committee today, Dmitry Titov,
Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions, noted
that the number of deaths and injuries from mines, munitions and ERW was falling
overall thanks to the efforts of national authorities and UN agencies.

Mine clearance and mine education to affected communities had helped bring about
the global drop, he said.

But Mr. Titov also said casualties are still rising in some countries, with the
number increasing in Sudan by 35 per cent last year. In other countries, such as
Libya and Côte d’Ivoire, recent conflicts have led to the placement of fresh
mines, munitions or ERW.

The Assistant Secretary-General also emphasized the importance of mine action
components in relevant peacekeeping missions and the need to have robust
ammunition management programmes in place in affected countries.

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