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Kuwait: regional seminar on the "Human Cost of Anti-personnel Landmines and Explosive Remnants of War"

11-06-2007 News Release

Kuwait City (ICRC) – A two-day regional seminar bringing together governments of the six member States of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to discuss the humanitarian consequences of anti-personnel landmines and other explosive remnants of war, opened today in Kuwait City.

The seminar, organized jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), will consider ongoing efforts to reduce the impact of mines and explosive remnants of war worldwide and in the Middle East in particular. 

Experts will brief the participants on developments related to the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-personnel Mines (commonly known as the Ottawa Treaty), the broader humanitarian consequences of unexploded remnants of war, and on current international efforts to develop new standards to regulate the use of cluster munitions.

On behalf of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, the Under-secretary of the ministry of foreign affairs in Kuwait, H.E. Khaled S. Al-Jarallah, announced that the State of Kuwait has lately completed the adherence procedures to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-Personnel mines, and on Their Destruction and that it would deposit the adherence instrument with the United Nations in the near future.

Mr. Jean Abt, ICRC Committee Member, expressed the hope that " this meeting will promote commitment to all steps that will protect civilians from landmines and explosive remnants of war " , especially in view of the fact that " a number of countries in the Middle East have suffered the consequences of mines and explosive remnants of war " including Kuwait.

During the seminar, representatives of the GCC countries are expected to exchange views on plans of action and policies in this field, and to consider how they could further contribute to internation al cooperative efforts to reduce the impact of landmines and explosive remnants of war on civilian populations.

Prince Mired al Hussein of Jordan officially invited all six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council to the eighth assembly of States party to the Ottawa Treaty, which will take place in Jordan in November 2007, the first meeting of its kind in the Middle East.

To date, 153 states have ratified the Ottawa Treaty, while 32 States have ratified the 2003 Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War, which addresses the post-conflict threat of cluster munitions and other unexploded ordnance.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Fouad Bawaba, ICRC Kuwait, tel +965 5322 061 or +965 787 94 34