Ban discusses use of antipersonnel mines

Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general of the U.N., spoke on Monday about the reported use of antipersonnel mines in the countries of multiple parties to the convention that bans the use of such weapons.

Ban made the remarks on Monday during the 13th meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction in Geneva. He said that in the past year, anti-personnel mines were allegedly used in four countries that are parties to the convention.

"I am also deeply concerned by the allegations of use reported this year in Turkey, Sudan, South Sudan and Yemen - all of which are parties to the convention," Ban said. "I urge these states to remember the commitments made under this treaty never to use anti-personnel mines and urge all other States Parties to assist in the clarification of these allegations and act accordingly should such allegations be confirmed."

Ban also spoke of antipersonnel mines being used in territories not party to the treaty. He condemned the use of such weapons as going against the norm established by the convention.

"In 2013, the use of antipersonnel mines was reported in Syria, Myanmar and in Nagorno-Karabakh - one territory and two states that are not party to the treaty and have acted against the norm established by this convention," Ban said. "I add my voice to that of states that have condemned this use."

Ban welcomed the continuing cooperation of Member States to the convention to avert further sorrow and suffering caused by antipersonnel mines.

"I urge all states that have not done so to accede as soon as possible to the convention," Ban said. "Anti-personnel mines have no place in a civilized world. I thank you all for your commitment to rid the world of these unacceptable and indiscriminate weapons."