[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] Wednesday urged all countries to sign and abide by international treaties banning landmines International Mine Awareness Day [press release]. Those treaties include the Ottawa Treaty [text; ICBL backgrounder], which bans all anti-personnel landmines, and the Protocol Five to the Certain Conventional Weapons Convention [text], scheduled to assemble in November to consider how to eradicate land mines left behind in former war zones. Ban said in a statement [text] said:
Today, I encourage all States who have not yet done so to accede to all these treaties as soon as possible.A UN official told reporters [transcript] Tuesday that approximately 20,000 people are killed by landmines each year, despite preventative efforts. The UN News Service has more.
I call upon all States Parties to honour their obligations under the treaties, including the commitment, for those in a position to do so, to render assistance to affected States and victims in need.
And I reiterate my call on the international community to address immediately the horrendous humanitarian effects of cluster munitions. These indiscriminately kill and maim civilians, just as easily and frequently as landmines do. International outrage has driven a large group of countries to pursue a new international treaty to deal with these weapons, thus complementing and reinforcing other on-going efforts.