13 October 2016

As states gather at the UN headquarters in New York to discuss disarmament and international security, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines reminds them that the goal of 2025 is within reach! Below, our statement delivered on 12 October 2016. For more on First Committee debates, follow the First Committee Monitor.

Icbl Finish Black Strip

Statement on the Mine Ban Treaty
Delivered by Megan Burke, Director of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
United Nations General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines is a coalition of NGOs in some 100 countries working to address the suffering caused by antipersonnel mines, through the full universalization and implementation of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.

The Mine Ban Treaty is by all measures, one of the most successful disarmament treaties ever. With 80% of the world's countries on board and many others in de facto compliance, it has nearly eliminated the production and use of antipersonnel landmines by states, while promoting sustained clearance and the recognition of the needs of victims. This has reduced the number of new landmine victims from 40-55 people a day in 1990s to 10 people a day in 2015.

However, in many countries around the world, people still die or become disabled from landmines. This is entirely preventable. While recent use has been limited, this use by states and non-state actors continues to create new victims and must be vociferously condemned. Landmines also continue to hamper access to land in 57 states, challenging efforts to promote sustainable development.

A mine-free world by 2025 is doable. In establishing this deadline, States Parties have signaled their strong resolve and political commitment to tackle the issue of landmines worldwide. To reach this deadline and finish the job by 2025, all states must act now and provide sufficient funding for all areas of mine action. In this last stretch, consistent progress and prioritization all along the way are critical.

For example: in Colombia, both the national effort to end conflict and prioritize clearance along with pledged increases in technical and financial support from around the world are essential if Colombia is to complete clearance of all priority areas by its deadline of 2021.

Here at First Committee, we call on member states to act:

  • Please promote universalization. Thirty-five states have yet to join the Mine Ban Treaty. There is no reason for them to delay in joining this widely embraced instrument.
  • Please vote in favor of the Resolution on the Mine Ban Treaty. We thank the many states who vote in favor each year, in particular states not party that seize the opportunity to express their support for its humanitarian aim. About half of states not party have voted in favor of the resolution in recent years. We ask the others to please move closer to the treaty's objectives by voting in favor of the resolution: please be in the room for the vote and make your voice heard.

Finally, we thank Chile for its excellent leadership this year, as President of the Mine Ban Treaty. We look forward to a productive Meeting of States Parties next month in Santiago where we know the focus will be on the progress needed to finish the job by 2025. We look forward to the active participation of States Parties and states not party alike in reporting on their contributions to a world free of landmines.

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