Anti-personnel mine ban meeting starts in Geneva

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Demining teams use bomb sniffing dogs to find unexploded landmines in Bunia, Democratic Republic of the Congo. UN Photo/Martine Perret

The annual meeting of States Parties to the convention that bans anti-personnel land mines opened in Geneva on Monday.

Representatives of governments and civil society, as well as experts are participating in the week-long gathering to review the treaty known as the Ottawa Convention.

The president of the meeting, Ambassador Matjaž Kovačič of Slovenia says it's significant that the meeting starts on December 3.

"It is a day when we look back exactly fifteen years to December 3 1997 when the convention was signed by over 100 states gathered in Ottawa, Canada. It is a day when we remember why the Convention needs to exist because today it is also the International Day for Persons with Disabilities. And, unfortunately anti-personnel landmines have swelled the ranks of those living with disabilities in some of the poorest countries in the world."

Duration: 28"

Participants in the Geneva meeting include a delegation of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) which is made up of experts, grassroots campaigners and landmine survivors from all over the world.

The ICBL has observer status, delivers statements in the plenary, organizes side events and feeds information to the media.

Gerry Adams, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21″

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