Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders congratulates Sri Lanka for its adhesion this 13th of December to the Ottawa Convention on the prohibition of anti-personnel mines.
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The Ottawa Convention on the prohibition of anti-personnel mines celebrates its 20th anniversary. Its signing started indeed on the 3rd and 4th of December 1997 in Ottawa, Canada. Belgium was a pioneer in the fight against mines. Our country was the very first country worldwide to adopt a national legislation banning these weapons in 1995. The Brussels Declaration of June 1997 was a catalyst in the process of the adoption and signature of the Ottawa Convention.
Twenty years ago, on 18th September 1997, the Ottawa Convention on the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and on their destruction was adopted in Oslo. The international community had a tool to end the human suffering caused by these mines.
Exactly 20 years ago, from 24 to 27 June 1997, the International Conference on Anti-Personnel Mines was held in Brussels. 97 states then signed the Brussels Declaration. They supported a comprehensive ban on the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines. They committed themselves to their destruction and to the establishment of international cooperation and assistance in mine clearance in the affected countries. Belgium was already advocating for victim assistance to be seen as an essential element in the fight against anti-personnel mines.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders welcomes the announcement made by Algeria on 10 February in Geneva, of the finalization of the operations of antipersonnel mine clearance on its territory.