NEW YORK, JUNE 30 – The UN Security Council adopted today its first stand-alone resolution on mine action. The text approved with an unanimous vote expresses concern over the threat that landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices pose to civilians, refugees returning home, humanitarian personnel, civilian personnel, and law enforcement personnel. It stresses the need to take appropriate steps to mitigate the danger posed by these threats. The resolution further calls upon member states to comply with their respective international obligations related to mine action.
“Peace without mine action is incomplete peace”: quoting a recent statement by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the Italian PR Sebastiano Cardi stressed that Italy considers mine action as a multifaceted activity that requires a comprehensive approach. “Disarmament, Humanitarian, and Development aspects of mine action need to be reinforced. Bringing stability to areas of crisis; providing humanitarian assistance to affected population; and contributing to the timely attainment of relevant SDG’s, should all be central goals of our common effort in mine action activities”, the Italian ambassador said.
While there appeared to be general support for the draft, a number of compromises had to me made, given the divergent views on the issue. “As President of the Mine Action Support Group 2016-2017, and an active member of the Ottawa and Oslo Conventions, Italy is committed to their full implementation, and attaches the utmost importance to their universalization”, Cardi said, adding that its delegation would have liked to see more ground covered by the Council, including references to cluster munitions. “Such ammunitions, when unexploded, lay silent on the ground representing a constant threat for generations to come. Lastly, a stronger reference to International Humanitarian Law and to humanitarian principles would have reinforced the document”.
There were references to cluster munitions in the initial draft. However, at least one of the permanent members objected to this reference, and it was omitted early on in the process. Of the permanent members of the Council, France and the United Kingdom have joined The Convention on Cluster Munitions, while China, Russia and the United States have not done so. (@OnuItalia)