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CFSP Statements


Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action on 4 April 2008

On the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action proclaimed by the United Nations the European Union welcomes the significant progress made in the fight against the suffering caused by anti-personnel mines.

The European Union, nonetheless, expresses its deep concern about the tremendous humanitarian and development challenges still posed by anti-personnel mines and unexploded ordnance. These devices continue to kill people and constitute an obstacle to the return of refugees and other displaced persons, humanitarian aid operations, reconstruction and economic development, as well as the restoration of normal social conditions, and have serious and lasting social and economic effects on the populations of mine-affected countries.

The European Union is aware of the potential of mine action as a peace and confidence-building measure in post-conflict situations among parties concerned. The European Union urges that where appropriate, all relevant multilateral, regional and national programmes and bodies should include, in addition to specialised mine action programmes, mine action activities in their humanitarian, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and development assistance activities, bearing in mind the need to ensure national and local ownership, sustainability and capacity-building.

Over the last ten years, the European Union and its Member States have consistently provided major political, financial and scientific support to mine action worldwide, totalling nearly EUR 1.5 billion and constituting almost a half of the world’s financial assistance to mine action in this period. The European Union has been integrating mine action into long-term socioeconomic development programmes with a view to improving its response to national priorities and enhancing local ownership. The Union's overall goal is a world free of anti-personnel mines without any new anti-personnel mine victims and where better care is provided for the victims of these weapons. This is an ambitious target, but it can be achieved if all states demonstrate the necessary determination and unite their efforts towards this end.

The European Union appeals to countries which have not yet acceded to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, which embodies both humanitarian and disarmament objectives, to do so as soon as possible, and join in the efforts to permanently eliminate anti-personnel landmines. The EU also calls upon countries which have not yet ratified the CCW or its relevant protocols to do so as soon as possible.

"The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this declaration.

* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process."


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Date: 07.04.2008