Morocco voluntarily implements almost all provisions of Ottawa Convention, diplomat (Morocco)
Morocco voluntarily implements almost all the provisions of the Ottawa Convention on antipersonnel landmines, Morocco's ambassador to the United Nations Office at Geneva, Omar Hilale, said on Tuesday.
"Convinced of the relevance of the humanitarian principles of the Ottawa Convention and concerned about the protection of civilians against the unacceptable damages caused by antipersonnel landmines, the Kingdom of Morocco voluntarily implements almost all provisions of the Convention, including mine clearance, stockpile destruction, awareness-raising and training on taking care and compensating the victims of landmines," Hilale said before the 9th meeting of the States Parties to Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction.
The Moroccan diplomat said the North African country regularly and voluntarily submits its report of transparency, under Article 7 of the Convention, on the measures taken nationally in accordance with the provisions of the Convention.
Underlining that Morocco postpones its adherence to the Convention because of requirements related to the security and preservation of its territorial integrity, Hilal said the Kingdom remains, however, convinced of the need to reduce the humanitarian impact of the severe damages inflicted on civilian populations.
As part of its participation in international efforts to combat this phenomenon, Morocco has undertaken in cooperation with Senegal the landmine clearance in the region of Casamance, and participates as an observer interested and concerned in all the meetings of States parties since Maputo in 1999 and the Dead Sea (Jordan) in 2007.
Nationally, Morocco, whose affected territory in the South covers an area of over 300,000 km, has so far recovered and destroyed 65,404 mines and unexploded devices, including 1,695 mines, 3450 shells, 719 grenades and 75,000 cartridges of different calibers since January 2007, noting that the cleared area has reached 560 km, which mobilized more than 10,000 mine clearance experts.
The Moroccan diplomat said the Kingdom neither produces nor exports landmines, and has halted their import well before the entry into force of the Convention. Morocco, he went on, has stopped the use of mines in the Sahara since the cease-fire in 1991 and established cooperation with MINURSO, since late 1999, in the field of information exchange.
Von: 26.11.2008, www.isria.info