Switzerland calls for greater efforts to ban landmines (Switzerland)

GENEVA: Switzerland on Monday called for more efforts by countries worldwide to eradicate anti-personnel mines ahead of a major conference on the subject in Geneva later this month.


Juerg Streuli, Switzerland's ambassador to the 156-nation Ottawa Convention banning landmines, said he will chair the ninth conference of states party to the convention in Geneva from November 24-28.

Although much has been done in the intervening decade, "the objectives of the convention are far from being reached," he told journalists.

"For some countries the humanitarian task of de-mining is enormous. Others are far behind on their timetables," he said.

Sylvie Brigot of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) said that Greece, Turkey and Belarus have all failed to clear and destroy their stockpiles of anti-personnel landmines under an agreed schedule.

Under the treaty, 156 signatory countries committed to clearing and destroying mines on their territory "as soon as possible but not later than 10 years," said an ICBL statement.

The ICBL won the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for its part in bringing about the Mine Ban Treaty in Ottawa that same year.

Von: 10.11.2008, www.thenews.com.pk

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