Nobel laureate on progress and challenges in implementing mine ban treatyListen /
Representatives from states party to a 1997 treaty prohibiting the use of anti-personnel mines are meeting in Geneva this week to review progress and challenges in banning these weapons.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, special envoy with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, was among the speakers addressing Monday's opening session.
More than 160 countries are party to the treaty which she described as a shining example of implementation and compliance.
"We know that we are making incredible progress and surprisingly to me, in 2012, there were even less victims than before, more land was cleared than ever before and there were more resources than ever before put to mine action and victim assistance. At this stage of the game, I'm very proud to be able to say that the commitment is still there and we're seeing it in deeds, not just nice words." (34")
However, Williams pointed to what she called "cracks" in implementing the treaty, with several countries allegedly still using mines while others have missed their deadlines for destroying stockpiles.
In a message to the meeting, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that although the treaty has reaped "real dividends," for example in lives saved and land returned to agricultural use, anti-personnel mines continue to kill and maim.
He said they have no place in a civilized world.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.