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Envoy calls for concerted effort on landmines

By WANG LINYAN at the United Nations | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-15 09:22

A senior Chinese envoy called for more international assistance and cooperation on mine action to reduce the threat from landmines and other explosive devices.

Wu Haitao, deputy permanent representative of China to the UN, made the remarks on Tuesday at a United Nations Security Council briefing on a comprehensive approach to mine action and explosive-hazard threat mitigation.

To address humanitarian concerns over explosive devices such as landmines, Wu said the international community needs to consider the national conditions and needs of mine-affected countries.

Differences in security environments and military capabilities should be respected, and de-mining efforts should be geared toward countries’ self-reliance as opposed to external assistance, he said.

China has put great importance to humanitarian concerns stemming from the use of improvised explosive devices by non-State actors. Wu mentioned President Xi Jinping’s announcement at the 70th General Assembly that China would launch 10 mine-clearing assistance programs.

Speakers agreed that mine action is not limited to removing remnants of war and needs to become part of a toolkit to help communities and countries recover and pursue sustainable peace.

UN has its Mine Action Service and Mine Action Gateway directly on demining efforts and sustainable peace.

According to Bolivia’s ambassador to the UN Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz, negotiations are under way on a draft council resolution that would emphasize the importance of mine action for peacekeeping, peace and security.

Tekeda Alemu, Ethiopia’s ambassador to the UN, said the draft resolution would send a strong signal on the need to mitigate the threat posed by landmines and other explosive devices.

He said his country has suffered from the impact of landmines and other explosive devices for decades, and attached great importance to mitigating their effects.

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