Campaigners call for more effort to rid world of mines (UK)

CAMPAIGNERS have called on governments to step up efforts to clear landmines which are killing 15,000 to 20,000 civilians each year and to deliver on international agreements to dispose of stockpiles of weapons.


Speaking at the launch in Portcullis House, Westminster, about Disarm, her powerful new documentary DVD about landmines, Mary Wareham of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines said: "Finding landmines in the field is always a problem and we need to dedicate more resources to doing that. We also need to destroy the landmines that have not been deployed ' stockpiles are now perhaps a bigger problem than the production of landmines."

Anti-personnel mines have unintended ' but tragic ' consequences long after a battle, or war, has ended. More than one million people have been killed or maimed by landmines since 1975 and there are still more than 100 million in 70 countries which have not been made safe.

"Landmines", said Martin Bell, the former BBC reporter and independent MP for Tatton. "How easy to lay and how difficult to remove".

Frank Cook, chair of the Parliamentary All-Party Landmine Eradication Group, said that since the Ottawa Treaty was signed in 1997 by 158 nations ' though not Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel or the United States ' progress has been made.

And Mr Bell added: "Each advance opens up the possibility of another. Most people are not killed by weapons of mass destruction but by Kalashnikovs ' so small arms are next."

Von: 02.04.2009, Tribune,

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