UNICEF Executive Director hails milestone on landmines, 98.9.16,

UNICEF Executive Director hails milestone on landmines, 98.9.16,



BELLAMY HAILS MILESTONE ON LANDMINES Treaty's 40th Ratification Must Lead to Global Ban, UNICEF Chief Says

(New York, 16 Sept.)--UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy today hailed the achievement of the 40th ratification of the treaty to ban anti-personnel landmines, which is the minimum number required for the treaty to become binding international law. Under the terms of the treaty, the ban formally goes into effect in March 1999.

"We stand at an historic moment in the struggle to end the anguish that these weapons have already inflicted on tens of thousands of the world's children, their families and their communities," Bellamy said.

Bellamy will visit Bosnia, the most heavily mined country in Europe this week to focus attention on this tremendous achievement. During the visit on 18-19 September, she will visit a mined area, a physical therapy center for child landmines victims and will also meet with Government officials to discuss ratification follow-up.

The UNICEF chief spoke in New York as Burkina Faso became the 40th country to formally ratify the treaty, which bans the production, sale, stockpiling, export and transfer of mines designed to kill or maim.

The UNICEF chief congratulated countries that have ratified the treaty since December, when it was first open for signature in Ottawa. She said that by doing so they had ushered in a new humanitarian and ethical standard to end the indiscriminate cruelty caused by mines, and hasten their elimination. Bellamy also praised the role of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a non-governmental organization, for their commitment and perseverance in generating a groundswell of support for the treaty.

"But this is no time to bask in our success," Bellamy warned. "While this treaty is a hard-won victory, countries that have not yet added their names to the treaty must move swiftly to do so. We need that unanimity in halting the further spread of these horrific weapons."

"Only when every country in the world resolves to rigorously implement the treaty will the world be finally rid of these insidious weapons of war," Bellamy said.

Some 26,000 people, many of them children, are killed or maimed each year by landmines (o) a brutal fact of life in nearly 70 countries where most of the world 60 to 100 million unexploded mines lie hidden. Further, landmines destroy livelihood by rendering land unusable.

The forty state parties which ratified the international treaty are: Andorra, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, France, Germany, Grenada, Holy See, Hungary, Ireland, Jamaica, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Niue, Norway, Peru, Samoa, San Marino, South Africa, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

UNICEF has long advocated a global ban on landmines and in 1995 resolved not to do business with any companies that manufacture or sell anti-personnel mines or their components.

In promoting mine awareness and education, UNICEF and its partners have launched Superman and Wonder Woman comic books to alert children to the dangers of hidden mines. UNICEF has also taken the lead in the creation of dramas, games, puppet shows and songs to teach children around the world how to recognize a mine and what to do when they encounter one.


For further information, please contact: Madeline Eisner, Division of Communication, UNICEF NY, 212-326-7261 Liza Barrie, Division of Communication, UNICEF NY, 212-326-7593

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN West Africa, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN-WA Tel: +225 21 73 66 Fax: +225 21 63 35 e-mail: for more information or subscription. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this report, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the Web at: or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to . Mailing list: irin-wa-extra]

Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 09:01:48 +0000 (GMT) From: UN IRIN - West Africa <> Subject: UNICEF Executive Director hails milestone on landmines, 98.9.16, Message-Id: <>

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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