International meeting on mine clearance: ICRC reaffirms need for total ban on anti-personnel mines
12-07-1995 News Release 28
The United Nations International Meeting on Mine Clearance, which ended in Geneva on 7 July, raised less than a third of the UN's goal of 75 million US dollars for its new Voluntary Fund for Mine Clearance. This demonstrated the difficulty of mobilizing the international community to deal effectively with the consequences of the indiscriminate use of anti-personnel mines and highlighted the urgent need to tackle the very source of the problem - through a total ban on these " instruments of blind terror " , as called for by ICRC President Cornelio Sommaruga and the UN Secretary-General in their addresses to the gathering.
Despite the disappointing financial results, the meeting provided evidence of growing support for a complete prohibition of anti-personnel mines. Norway added its name to the list of ten countries already supporting a ban while representatives of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the European Commission announced the adoption of resolutions by the OAU's Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, appealing for the absolute prohibition of both anti-personnel mines and blinding laser weapons.
Among the 97 countries participating in the meeting were Angola, Cambodia and Mozambique, which stressed the devastating effects of landmines on post-conflict rehabilitation. Croatia and Peru provided graphic accounts of the problems which mines have caused in ongoing and recent conflicts. Governments will be considering proposals to limit and prohibit the use of anti-personnel mines at the Review Conference of the 1980 UN Weapons Convention, to be held in Vienna from 25 September to 13 October 1995.