The 14th meeting of the States parties to the Anti-Personel Mine Ban Convention

H.E Mr. Wais Ahmad Barmak, State Minister for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs and Mr. Mohamad Shafiq Yousufi Director of  Mine Action Coordination, accompanied by H.E Ambassador Suraya Dalil and Nazir Ahmad Foshanji third Secretary attended to the 14th meeting of the states parties to the Anti-Personel Mine Ban Convention, which took place from 30 November to 4 December 2015 in Geneva. The meeting was opened by HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium.

H.E Minister Barmak in his speech expressed the commitment of the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in making the country free from landmines by 2023, through following the norms of the convention and those actions endorsed on the plan by the states parties. He added, since the creation of the Afghanistan Mine Action Program in 1989, we have successfully cleared vast areas in the country, reducing the impact of mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) as well as contamination on the lives and livelihoods of civilians. Between 2001 and 2013, the number of casualties fell significantly from a monthly average of 175 to 36. He has continued that since 2013, I am sad to say the number of casualties has risen again to a monthly average of 102 during 2015. The cause of these casualties is primarily not the legacy of past conflicts and the conventional landmines left behind, but rather it is from the fighting of recent years that creating new ERW and new forms of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

At this meeting, the Afghan delegation delivered statements on Article 5 about the extension of mine clearance in Afghanistan from 2013 to 2023, achievements and progress regarding the victim assistance obligations under the  Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) and other relevant conventions with regards to the victim assistance.

On the margin of this meeting, H.E Minister Barmak received Ambassador Stefano Toscano, Director of the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) and Mr. Bruno Donat, Chief of Geneva Office United Nation Mine Action Service (UNMAS) separately to strengthen the relationship and collaboration between GICHD, UNMAS and Mine Action Coordination Center of Afghanistan (MACCA).