Kurz: "A landmine-free world can soon be a reality"
Vienna, 30 June 2014 – 15 years after the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines came into force, wide areas have been cleared of these cruel weapons, large stockpiles have been destroyed and trade in mines has virtually stopped. "It is especially important that the number of accidents in which people are maimed or killed has declined", Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said in a statement on the Third Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty held in Maputo/Mozambique. "And yet, the danger that anti-personnel mines pose to civilians in particular, has not been fully averted. The action plan adopted in Maputo contains the right measures that will make a world free of mines possible within the foreseeable future. The United States' announcement to refrain from producing or acquiring anti-personnel mines in future is a step in the right direction."
Austria is one of the countries that have paved the way for the Treaty; Austria is currently co-chairing the Committee on Victim Assistance that was established to provide the best possible support for mine victims. Austria together with Zero Project, the Essl Foundation and the World Future Council organised a discussion at the Maputo conference about how to improve the networking of international efforts for barrier-free access for people with disabilities. The event was opened by the Minister for Social Action and Women of Mozambique, Iolanda Maria Pedros Camps Cintura, giving the discussion an especially high profile. Austria also supported a programme for training journalists in Mozambique in the run-up to the conference. "Austria will continue to advocate the full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty also in future", Sebastian Kurz concluded.