On the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, the European Union reaffirms its strong commitment to support actions addressing the threats of anti-personnel mines and explosive remnants of war, including improvised explosive devices. For years after a conflict has ended, mines continue to cause dreadful harm, instill fear and stop refugees and internally displaced people from returning to their homes. Mines also continue to strip entire regions of a fair chance of economic recovery and development, and survivors are often condemned to a life of poverty because of their injuries and the lack of rehabilitation services.
In the past five years, we have supported mine action for over €250 million in over 26 mine affected countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chad, Colombia, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Myanmar, Somalia, Syria, Turkey and Ukraine.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. The Convention has been joined by 164 states, establishing a strong international norm and generating a tremendously positive impact. The Convention is an example of what the EU stands for: a rules-based international order, rooted in the respect for human rights and international humanitarian law. This is why we urge countries that have not yet done so to accede to the Convention. In view of the 4th Review Conference of the Convention that will take place in Oslo in November this year, the EU together with its Member States will prepare a united position aiming at a strong political message for a mine-free world by 2025 and a concrete action plan on how to achieve this ambitious objective.