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Mine action: Italy’s Amendola reaffirms commitment, expresses concern for increasing threat

NEWYORK, JUNE 13 – Reaffirming Italy commitment to mine action, with regard to all its five pillars: demining and clearance; risk education; victim assistance; stockpile destruction; advocacy, inter alia against the use of anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Enzo Amendola expressed concern for the expanding range of the threat for civilian populations.

“I am referring, for instance, to the increasing use of new devices – such as victim activated improvised explosive devices – particularly by non-state armed groups, as well as to the risk posed by unsecured weapons and ammunition stockpiles located in populated areas. Similarly, we are seriously concerned about indications that people killed and injured by mines and other explosive remnants of war have been recently on the rise. This trend, unfortunately, has been accompanied by signals of decreasing funding devoted to mine action. Against this background, we shall remain vigilant, even within and through this Council”, Amendola told a meeting of the UN Security Council on a “comprehensive approach to mine action and explosive hazard threat mitigation”.

As party to all the legally binding instruments relevant to mine action, including Oslo and Ottawa Conventions, the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Italy strongly encourages all States to join them, Amendola said: “These instruments set high standards for mine action and its universality would mark tangible progress for all”.

The Italian Deputy Foreign Minister commended UNMAS and the other UN entities involved in mine action for their remarkable and professional work in a more and more complex environment. “We value the coordinating efforts deployed by UNMAS and the progress made in the UN Mine Action 2013-2018 Strategy who were open to civil society involvement. Italy will continue to support all these efforts, also through our current presidency of the Mine Action Support Group”. (@OnuItalia)

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