UN / MINE ACTION

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04-Apr-2022 00:04:34
On the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, the United Nations remembered how far the world has come in clearing the world of explosive remnants of war, but stressed that over 50 countries remain contaminated with these weapons. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / MINE ACTION

TRT: 04:34
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 04 APRIL 2022, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:
1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Prince Mired Bin Raad Al-Hussein of Jordan, Special Envoy to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction:
“In general, States Parties to the Convention have done a good job. In the past 25 years, more than 53 million stockpiles, the anti-personal miles have been destroyed, contaminated land and affected communities continue to be cleared for their productive use. The rights and needs of mine and victims are somewhat addressed, although there is still much to do to ensure that we provide this assistance not as a matter of charity but as part of wider frameworks in line with the CRPD.”
3. Wide shot, press briefing room
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Alicia Victoria Arango Olmos, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations Office at Geneva and President of the Meeting of the States Parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention:
“As President of the Convention, I am also deeply concerned by reports that have surfaced in social and traditional media and verified but Human Rights Watch, which is part of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, indicating that anti-personal mines, both factory made of improvised nature, are being used by Russia in the current conflict in Ukraine. We must stand firm in the Convention’s legally binding premises to never under any circumstance use anti-personal mines, develop, produce, and otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone directly or indirectly, anti-personal mines. We cannot turn a blind eye to this situation.”
5. Wide shot, press briefing room
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Héctor Guerra, Director, International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL):
“New use of mines in Ukraine by Russia and ongoing use of in Myanmar by the government has also shown that the Mine Ban Treaty successes are not inevitable or without setbacks. Use of landmines by anyone, anywhere, anytime, must be strongly condemned by the international community to safeguard the norm established 25 years ago and ensure the protection of civilians.”
7. Wide shot, press briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Giles Duley, IED survivor and photographer:
“I myself was injured in Afghanistan in 2011. I lost both my legs and my left arm to an IED. 18 months after that injury, I returned to Afghanistan to document people who have been injured like myself. I was at the ICRC limb fitting center when I met a young boy called Ataqullah.”
9. Wide shot, press briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Giles Duley, IED survivor and photographer:
“Ataqullah was eight years old when he was walking to school just a few miles from where I was injured in Afghanistan. It was just a couple of months after my own injury. And as he walked to school that day, he stepped on a landmine. He lost his left leg and his left arm. He was at the prosthetics fitting center, walking between two parallel bars. I was at the opposite end making his photograph. Normally people react to see me there. They smile and laugh. You have some kind of communication. But Ataqullah just looked through his young boy with a plastic leg. His left arm swinging useless was walking towards me. And as I was taking his photograph, I was thinking of the pain that I am in every day of my life, both physical and emotional. And I was thinking why an eight-year-old boy should have to go through what I go through every day simply because he was walking to school. And that is the reality of these weapons.”
11. Wide shot, press briefing room
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Giles Duley, IED survivor and photographer:
“I've said again and again. There is no point saving a life if we do not give somebody their life back. And that is what I'm here to say on behalf of all those victims around the world. Right now, there is a child waking up in Yemen in Angola, in Lao, in Ukraine. And they are waking up to the reality that they have lost a limb to Atlanta and they're waking up to the reality of being a victim and we have the choice as to whether they can become survivors. Thank you.”
13. Wide shot, press briefing room
14. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior


STORYLINE:

On the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, the United Nations remembered how far the world has come in clearing the world of explosive remnants of war, but stressed that over 50 countries remain contaminated with these weapons.

Speaking to journalists in New York, Prince Mired Bin Raad Al-Hussein of Jordan, Special Envoy to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, said States Parties have done a good job.

In fact, he said, in the past 25 years, more than 53 million stockpiles, the anti-personal miles have been destroyed, contaminated land and affected communities continue to be cleared for their productive us

“The rights and needs of mine and victims are somewhat addressed, although there is still much to do to ensure that we provide this assistance not as a matter of charity but as part of wider frameworks in line with the CRPD,” Prince Mired said.

The current President of the Meeting of the States Parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, Alicia Victoria Arango Olmos, said she was “deeply concerned” by reports indicating that anti-personal mines are being used by Russia in the current conflict in Ukraine.

She said, “We must stand firm in the Convention’s legally binding premises to never under any circumstance use anti-personal mines, develop, produce, and otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone directly or indirectly, anti-personal mines. We cannot turn a blind eye to this situation.”

Héctor Guerra, Director, International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), also noted the new use of mines in Ukraine by Russia and ongoing use of in Myanmar by the government.

According to him, this shows that “the Mine Ban Treaty successes are not inevitable or without setbacks.”

“Use of landmines by anyone, anywhere, anytime, must be strongly condemned by the international community to safeguard the norm established 25 years ago and ensure the protection of civilians,” Guerra argued.

Giles Duley a photographer who survived an IED explosion in Afghanistan, in 2011, but lost both his legs and his left arm, recalled his first work trip after the injury.

It was 18 months after he had been injured, and he was returning to Afghanistan to document other victims, when he met a young boy at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) limb fitting center.

“He was at the prosthetics fitting center, walking between two parallel bars. I was at the opposite end making his photograph. Normally people react to see me there. They smile and laugh. You have some kind of communication. But Ataqullah just looked through his young boy with a plastic leg. His left arm swinging useless was walking towards me,” Duley recalled.

“As I was taking his photograph, I was thinking of the pain that I am in every day of my life, both physical and emotional. And I was thinking why an eight-year-old boy should have to go through what I go through every day simply because he was walking to school. And that is the reality of these weapons.”

For the photographer, “there is no point saving a life if we do not give somebody their life back” and that is why he tries to speak on behalf of all the victims from around the world.

“Right now, there is a child waking up in Yemen in Angola, in Lao, in Ukraine. And they are waking up to the reality that they have lost a limb to a landmine and they're waking up to the reality of being a victim and we have the choice as to whether they can become survivors,” he said.
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