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Right of mine survivors to live dignified lives a priority at Cartagena Summit

26-11-2009 News Release 239/09

Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) calls for parties to the Mine Ban Convention to reaffirm their commitment to its humanitarian objectives during the upcoming Second Review Conference of the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-personnel Mines.

The Review Conference – also known as the Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World – will take place in Cartagena, Colombia, from 29 November to 4 December 2009.

Ten years after the Convention entered into force, the Cartagena Summit will take stock of the tremendous achievements made towards ending the use of anti-personnel mines, and address the challenges remaining. A key theme on the agenda will be how to strengthen efforts to ensure that mine victims receive adequate assistance.

" While the situation has improved in some areas and for some survivors, the majority of survivors are not yet receiving the assistance they require to rebuild their lives and fully participate in their communities, " said Claude Tardif, who heads the ICRC’s physical rehabilitation programmes.

In connection with the Cartagena Summit, victim assistance specialists and mine survivors have called on States Parties to assume their responsibility to fulfil the Convention's promise to landmine victims and to do more, invest more and achieve more for individual victims, their families and communities in the next five years. Their appeal was issued in a meeting organized by the ICRC and the Norwegian Red Cross earlier this year.

At the Summit, the 156 States party to the Convention will adopt an action plan for the years 2010-2014. In addition to victim assistance, other key priorities will include ensuring that mine-affected countries complete mine clearance as soon as possible within their deadlines and that those State s Parties that have not destroyed their stocks within their four-year deadlines do so without further delay.

For further information, please contact:
  Simon Schorno, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 251 9302
  Marçal Izard, ICRC, Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 58 or +41 79 217 32 24
  Camilla Waszink, ICRC delegation to the Cartagena Summit, tel: + 57 320 85 97 521