24 November 2005
Secretary-General Calls for Closer Cooperation in Message to Conference on Amended Protocol II to Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
NEW YORK, 23 November (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's message to the Seventh Annual Conference of the High Contracting Parties to Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, delivered by Enrique Roman-Morey, Department of Disarmament Affairs, in Geneva today, 23 November:
It gives me great pleasure to send my best wishes to the participants in the Seventh Annual Conference of the High Contracting Parties to Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, which prohibits or restricts the use of mines, booby-traps and other devices.
Despite the efforts of the international community, landmines, booby traps and other explosive devices continue to victimize civilians, cause excessive suffering to combatants, and hinder the socio-economic reconstruction of societies struggling to emerge from the ravages of war. Both during and after armed conflict, they aggravate and prolong its horrendous consequences, threatening not only our societies but also future generations.
Amended Protocol II is a legally binding international instrument which covers the use of all mines. As an important tool for minimizing the humanitarian hazard posed by these weapons, it is also an essential complement to other multilateral efforts in this field. The full and effective application of its provisions will significantly improve the protection of civilian populations. I echo the appeal made by the Heads of State and Government during the 2005 World Summit, urging all States parties to Amended Protocol II to fully implement their respective obligations and calling on States in a position to do so to provide greater technical assistance to mine-affected States. This will require consultation and even closer cooperation among the States parties.
Since its adoption in 1996, 85 States have notified their consent to be bound by the Protocol. I welcome this progress, and appeal once more to those countries that have not yet ratified this instrument to do so as soon as possible -- particularly those which have acceded to the original Protocol II.
I thank all of you for your commitment, and wish you every success in your deliberations.
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