20th Anniversary of the Mine Ban Convention

The Royal Norwegian Embassy had this spring the honour to host Halo Trust and distinguished guests to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Mine Ban Convention.

| Published by: Elisabeth Wemberg

The event was an important gathering with interesting speeches and participation from the Afghan authorities, civil society and the international community.

Ambassador Pettersen pointed out that the Mine Ban Convention was a great success. In Afghanistan almost 80 % of all recorded mine and unexploded ordnance-contaminated land was cleared. Pettersen also pointed out that we should recall the need to continue to support victims and remind the Convention`s community of the remaining work to be carried out to achieve a mine free world.

The Minister for disaster management and humanitarian affairs, Mr Fahim, and the Program Manager of the Halo Trust in Afghanistan, Dr. Farid, outlined in their speeches both on the country's challenges as well as current activities and programs and achievements. The Halo Trust also held a successful minefield demonstration in the garden, on how to detect mines.

The participants took notice of two interesting experience-based interventions, from a female mine victim, Ms Sediqi, and a beneficiary of mine clearance, Mr Mohammad, conducted by Halo from the Logar province. Both these Afghan representatives praised the importance of mine clearance and its protection of civilians in vulnerable provinces of Afghanistan.

Ambassador Pettersen informed that Norway, which holds the presidency of the Mine Ban Convention, will hold the 4th Review Conference in Oslo 25-29 November 2019.