IV Review Conference on a Mine Free World
Convention on the Prohibition of the Production, Use, Storage and Transfer of AP Mines
In Oslo, in period 25-29 November 2019, IV Review Conference on Mine Free World is being held, marking the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Production, Use, Storage and Transfer of AP Mines. It is a formal diplomatic meeting of the 164 signatory states parties of the Convention, presenting an opportunity for all the member states to meet and discuss the results achieved after the Maputo Conference held in 2014, and to give direction for the implementation of the Convention in the next five years.
In parallel with the Conference, there will be a series of side events aimed at establishing a dialogue on the current status of the Convention, as well as the needs and challenges to fulfill the obligations arising from it.
BiH delegation is headed by Dr Nedim Makarevic, BiH Ambassador to Norway, and Sasa Obradovic, Director of the BiH Mine Action Center, who will address the meeting as part of the planned statements by States Parties about their current status and remaining responsibilities, and on efforts and needs to implement given obligations.
Once more, Bosnia and Herzegovina's strong commitment to continue its further activities to address the threats posed by landmines and explosive remnants of war will be underlined. This is supported by the adoption of a new strategic document for the period 2018-2025, confirming the final intention to resolve this long-term issue in the most efficient and effective manner possible, with the achievement of visible results, within the required time frame.
Although BiH cited a number of reasons as a basis for extension request, in the form of less mine clearance resources than anticipated, and with still considerable mine contamination, as well as unforeseen weather conditions, it is important to emphasize that our country, although requiring additional time for mine survey and clearance, our country is fully engaged and committed to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of field activities, in order to fulfill the obligations under Article 5 of the Convention.
In the 24 years following the conflict, there are still 8,050 suspected hazardous areas at 995.87km2 and 917 confirmed hazardous areas at 22.14km2.
In the last five years, Bosnia and Herzegovina has managed to liberate a total of 158.5 km2, destroying 8,992 mines and 9,992 other explosive remnants of the war.
It should be emphasized that thanks to continuous mine risk education and marking activities, the number of civilian casualties is steadily decreasing as people are more informed and educated about mine and UXO hazards and how to avoid potential risk. There is also intensifying activities to provide assistance to mine survivors as adequately as possible, especially as we continue to face serious challenges with our medical and rehabilitation facilities, as well as with the socio-economic reintegration of mine victims. Thus, we remain committed to strengthening our care, rehabilitation and alleviating the suffering of mine victims.
Unfortunately, there were two demining accidents this year with 3 injured deminers and 2 with fatal outcome.
In the past period, Bosnia and Herzegovina has received various types of assistance and cooperation from major donor communities, providing a crucial and important impetus to the realization of our strategic and operational goals. And as we struggle to invest more in the process, we must emphasize the importance of donor assistance and contributions in the coming period, in order to reach a land without mines and other explosive remnants of war.