Intercessional meetings of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention

Dr. Suraya Dalil, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations participated at the in Intercessional meetings of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention which took place from 19-20 May 2016 at World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva.

Ambassador Dalil delivered a statement that contained the development of the Mine Action Program of Afghanistan, which covers all five pillars of mine action for the period from 2013 to 2023 that was jointly developed in consultation with the relevant stakeholders. The plan is in line with current national and international policies and treaties. It sets out clear ambitions and results to be achieved, supported by robust action plans, monitoring and evaluation, risk mitigation strategies and coordination.

Ambassador Dalil furthermore expressed the commitment of the government of Afghanistan to fulfil its obligation under the Convention and stipulated that the Mine Action Program of Afghanistan, since its establishment in 1989, has cleared many areas from mines and Explosive Remanents of War (ERW), whereas over 600 square kilometers of ground remain to be cleared.

Part of this meeting Ambassador Dalil, participated as a panellist in a thematic discussion on how countries build political will to address anti-personnel mines both nationally in order to carry out their own obligations and commitments, and globally to achieve the vision of a mine-free world by 2025 as articulated in the Maputo Declaration. Other Speakers in the panel were Mr. Jaime Chissano, Minister Plenipotentiary at the Permanent Mission of Republic of Mozambique to the United Nations in Geneva; Ms. Katy Donnelly, Deputy Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations and to the Conference on Disarmament and other International Organisations; and Mr. Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan, Research Coordinator on Ban Policy (Asia, Pacific, Middle-East and North Africa) for the Landmine and Cluster Munitions Monitor, International Campaign to Ban Landmines. The panel was moderated by Ambassador Rosemary McCarney, Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva.

In the panel Ambassador Dalil talked about the National Mine Action Strategic Plan of Afghanistan, increase in the number of casualties to an average of 100 per month from 2013 till now that are mainly caused by the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), the pain and hardship that the victims of mines experience and the political commitment of the government of Afghanistan to fulfil its obligation under the Convention. To achieve a mine-free world by 2025, Ambassador Dalil mentioned that Afghanistan is committed to focus on national ownership, effective coordination between various stakeholders and assistance to the survivors; however the country needs sustainable financial assistance from international partners alongside its own resources to accomplish the goal of a Mine-Free Afghanistan before 2025.