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NewsBawumia calls for international action to combat humanitarian threat of improvised mines


Bawumia calls for international action to combat humanitarian threat of improvised mines

Ghana’s Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has highlighted the pressing need for concerted efforts to address the humanitarian and security challenges posed by improvised mines in conflict-affected regions.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a three-day conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Improvised Anti-Personnel Mines , Dr Bawumia underscored the grave threat posed by landmines, which indiscriminately maim and kill innocent civilians, exacerbating already dire humanitarian crises. 

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“The presence of improvised mines exacerbates the already  grave humanitarian and security challenges faced by these nations, necessitating urgent and concerted efforts towards effective mine clearance and risk mitigation strategies,” he said.

He added that these insidious weapons not only inflict lasting physical and psychological harm but also disrupt livelihoods, impede socio-economic development, and hinder efforts to achieve sustainable peace and security.

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Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the Vice President reaffirmed Ghana’s steadfast commitment to promoting a world free from the scourge of landmines and explosive remnants of war. 

Furthermore, Dr Bawumia urged all states that are not parties to the convention on landmines to strive towards ratification, emphasizing the critical role of international cooperation in addressing this pressing humanitarian issue.

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About the conference 

Ghana, through the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (NACSA), is hosting a 3-day regional conference on the need to address the humanitarian impact of improvised anti-personnel mines in West Africa and the Sahel Region within the framework of the Convention.

This event is being held in partnership with the Implementation Support Unit (ISU) of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction.

The Convention is the international community’s comprehensive response to the humanitarian impact caused by anti-personnel mines which are indiscriminate weapons that remain dangerous for decades after conflicts have ended.

In 2019, the Convention took a significant step by adopting the Oslo Declaration on a Mine-Free World.

While recognizing achievements, the Declaration emphasised persistent challenges, particularly the increasing threat posed by anti-personnel mines, including the use of improvised ones by armed non-state actors, and their impact on human life and sustainable development.

Scheduled to take place from February 13-15, 2024 in Accra, the upcoming conference offers a platform for a technical discussion on best practices and lessons learned within the framework of the Convention.

The conference will be attended by representatives from States Parties to the Convention in West Africa and the Sahel Region, as well as leading UN agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and experts working in mine action.

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