Prince Mired praises Sri Lanka’s mine-removal progress

Prince Mired Raad Zeid Al-Hussein of Jordan praised Sri Lanka for signing the Ottowa Convention on Anti-Personnel Landmines last December.

Prince Al-Hussein who is the Special Envoy on the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention concluded an official visit to Sri Lanka.

He was speaking at a public lecture Tuesday evening at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute in Colombo.

He noted that 33 states have not yet joined the Ottowa Convention, and that a significant number of those are in Asia, such as India, Pakistan, and Nepal.

“It is here that Sri Lanka could help make a difference,” he said. “With its accession, Sri Lanka has come to occupy its place amongst state parties, and could help drive international efforts to foster this norm in the region.” India and Pakistan are both major manufacturers of land mines.

The Sri Lankan government aims to be land mine free by 2020, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Government and the de-mining organisations have cleared almost 2 billion square meters of ordnance since 2002, Ministry of Prison Reforms, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement statistics show. 84 million sqm remain to be cleared.

164 countries around the world are now party to the treaty, including a majority of countries in Europe, Africa, and South America.

In Asia, “(Sri Lanka) stands proudly amongst the few,” Al-Hussein said. “There is something very noble about standing with the few.”

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