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Global Pact On Explosive Remnants Of War

Ban Urges More States To Adhere To Global Pact On Explosive Remnants Of War

New York, Nov 10 2009 2:10PM Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on those States that have not yet done so to adhere to the global pact dealing with explosive remnants of war, noting the deadly toll that these weapons which are left over after conflict takes on society.

“Armed conflict leaves in its wake not only chaos, grief and hardship, but also explosive remnants of war that kill and maim long after the end of hostilities,” he told the opening of the Third Conference of the High Contracting Parties to Protocol V to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW).

“Protocol V, which provides the legal framework for addressing this horrendous humanitarian and developmental impact, can help us eliminate this deadly hazard,” he added in a message delivered yesterday in Geneva by Sergio Duarte, the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.

The CCW aims to protect military troops from inhumane injuries and prevent noncombatants from accidentally being wounded or killed by certain types of arms. Protocol V focuses specifically on unexploded and abandoned ordnance which include artillery shells, grenades and gravity bombs. They pose severe threats to civilians because they can explode without cause or accidentally be triggered to detonate.

The Secretary-General congratulated States Parties for having established the machinery for implementing the Protocol, and encouraged them to make full use of the mechanism.

He also encouraged them to promote information sharing on the use or abandonment of explosive ordinance – bilaterally, through the UN, or through another entity as appropriate.

Mr. Ban said he was encouraged to see the “considerable increase” in the number of State Parties to the Protocol since last year, and commended the 61 States that have expressed their consent to be bound by the Protocol.

At the same time, he called on those States that have not yet done so to ratify Protocol V without delay, reminded them of their responsibility to provide protection to civilian populations both during and after armed conflicts.

“The United Nations will continue to assist you in your noble efforts,” he pledged.

ENDS

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