Croatia to host international conference on landmines ban in November


The sixth meeting of countries which have signed the Ottawa Convention Banning Landmines will take place in Zagreb from 28 November to 3 December, an adviser to the Croatian foreign minister, Diana Plestina, said earlier this week.


(18.09.2005)

Plestina said it was important that the conference was taking place in
Southeast Europe because some of its countries, Bosnia and Hercegovina,
Serbia and Montenegro, Albania, and Macedonia, all signatories to the
convention, were dealing with the issue of landmines.

So far the Ottawa Convention had been signed by 146 countries.

Plestina said about 1,150 square metres of land in Croatia were
suspected of hiding mines, mostly in eastern Slavonia and in the Zadar
hinterland.

She recalled that 410 people in Croatia had been killed by mines so far,
while some 1,460 had been wounded.

Croatia has fulfilled a very important provision from the Ottawa
Convention - the destruction of 10,000 stored mines.

The convention was signed in 1997 after negotiations in Oslo with the
purpose of adopting a ban on landmines, demining, and helping mine
victims.

The Zagreb meeting is expected to pool some 600 delegates.

Von: 19 September 2005 (BBC), HINA news agency

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