Didier Reynders rejoices over adhesion of Sri Lanka to Ottawa Convention against anti-personnel mines

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.

This news comes while we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Ottawa Convention. Sri Lanka becomes its 163rd State Party. This is a step forward in the universalization of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines, which gives a particular attention to the assistance of victims of mines. As a new State Party, Sri Lanka will contribute also to the promotion of the objectives of the Convention in the region. Together with the current Austrian Presidency of the Convention and the Special Envoys of the Convention Princess Astrid and Prince Mired of Jordan, Didier Reynders rejoices over this new membership.

Sri Lanka announced this great news during a seminar organized jointly by Belgium, Canada and Colombia at the United Nations in New York on the theme of “A world without Anti-personnel Mines”. This new adhesion to the Convention reminds us how much this fight remains relevant today. The number of persons wounded or killed by anti-personnel mines, including by improvised anti-personnel mines, has increased over the last few years. New usages of anti-personnel mines are being reported in Myanmar and in Syria as well as by non-state armed groups.

Our ambition remains the universal prohibition of anti-personnel mines by 2025, and, even more importantly, that of a world without any new victims of anti-personnel mines.