The Fourth Review Conference for a Mine Free World took place in Oslo, on November 25-29. State parties to the Mine Ban Treaty adopted a five-year action plan, containing 50 points. That will ensure mine clearance and other treaty obligations are met by the year 2025.Peace Ambassador Princess Angelika Jarosławska Sapieha was honored to be invited to that important meeting with Royal Families of Norway and Belgium, the Norwegian government and all organizations and representatives of countries involved in the campaign for Mine Free World.Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Princess Astrid were present at the opening of the fourth supervisory conference in Oslo City Hall. It should be recalled that Norway was strongly instrumental in the adoption of the Mining Convention in Oslo in 1997 and also holds the presidency of the Mining Convention last year.Crown Prince Haakon said: “I believe this is a testimony to the importance of the topic and the occasion. You are here to discuss a problem that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Many of you are all too familiar with the real costs of the landmine problem – in terms of human suffering, broken communities and lost development opportunities.”20 years have passed since the entry into force of the Convention prohibiting the production, use, storage and export of anti-personnel landmines.Mine Ban Convention as a result of an unprecedented process involving partnerships between the states and civil society organizations.One of our generation’s biggest challenges are landmines still killing children around the globe. There are still 100 million landmines around the world and the demining is not happening fast enough.Our generation must be the first, which will absolutely not accept the concept of landmines causing crimes against humanity – killing children, civilians, medics, or aid workers.By one United Nations estimate, the cost of a landmine is between $3 and $75 while the cost of removing it is between $300 and $1000! We should be the last generation to suffer the effects of the „underground devil” and we need to create a safe world for the next generations. Today, in many places in the world landmines still claim the lives of innocent people.The world is too little aware of the suffering of landmines victims, killed or maimed by these barbaric weapons, sitting on the ground sometimes from 40 years or more, before they will explode under the child’s feet.These weapons of war kill in peacetime. Some landmines will stay active for decades after the conflict for which the mine was laid has come to a close and usually is triggered in absolutely unrelated circumstances.Landmines affect everyone, with 71 percent of the world’s casualties being civilians.Landmine does not distinguish between a soldier’s foot and a child’s foot.Landmines make mine-contaminated land unusable and prevent development and farming even in times of peace. Many people around the globe live in houses surrounded by landmines.ICBL stresses the huge amount of landmines victims – children:“Children who are injured by landmines will face months of recovery…if they don’t die and if they get treated in time. Many are killed on the spot due to blood loss, shock, or damage to vital organs. A growing child with a prosthetic limb will need it refitted each year. Some children never return to school after their accident. Many faced social exclusion, for example, they are not seen as fit to marry. Like adult victims, they will face enormous practical, economic, social, and psychological challenges in their rehabilitation and reintegration process.”#landminefree2025#minefreeworld#nomorelandmines
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