Press Release : 16th Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of  the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines  and on Their Destruction news3

Press Release : 16th Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction

On 18 – 21 December 2017, Thailand participated in the 16th Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (Ottawa Treaty) in Vienna, Austria. The Thai delegation was led by H.E. Mr. Sek Wannamethee, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Thailand to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, and comprised of representatives from relevant agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Human Security and Social Development, the Ministry of Public Health, and Thailand Mine Action Center.

The annually held meeting reviews progress in the implementation of the Convention. This year’s meeting was significant for Thailand for several reasons. Of particular importance was the adoption of Thailand’s demining extension request for the period of 1 Nov 2018 – 31 Dec 2023, which enables Thailand to continue its demining efforts to return safe land back to productive use. The meeting also confirmed Thailand as a member of the Committee on the Enhancement of Cooperation and Assistance for the terms 2018 – 2019. As a member of the Committee, Thailand will play a constructive role in facilitating assistance to countries in need. Furthermore, Thailand co-organized the launch event of the Spanish and French versions of the Guidance on Victim Assistance Report, the translated version of the original publication in English which Thailand produced in the capacity of the chair of the Committee on Victim Assistance in 2016. Thailand remains central to victim assistance which continues to be internationally recognized.

Since 1997, the Ottawa Treaty has served as an important international instrument in ceasing the production, transfer, and use of landmines, as well as helping promote victim assistance and mine risk education. For the past 20 years, 30 of the 61 countries with reported landmine contamination have been declared mine-free. Since joining the Treaty in 1999, the first in Southeast Asia and 53rd worldwide, Thailand has returned over 80% of safe land back to the people. Thailand remains determined to release the remaining area of around 422 square kilometers, mostly located along the Thai-Cambodian border, by 2023.