Ambassadors and representatives of nations that signed the Ottawa Convention called on Monday in Santiago for a quicker clearing of minefields, so that by 2025 the world will be completely free of landmines.
The Chilean Army is involved in anti personnel-mine sweeping operations in the Magallanes region, north of Punta Arenas, as part of the country's commitment to have the region free of all mines by 2020 thus complying with the Ottawa convention.
The United States announced last Friday it intends to join the Mine Ban Treaty in the future and will not produce antipersonnel mines. Speaking at the Third Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty, US Ambassador to Mozambique, Douglas Griffiths, said the US is pursuing solutions that would allow the country to accede to the treaty.
On the International Mine Awareness Day (April 4), the Organization of American States highlighted the successful humanitarian demining efforts throughout the Americas. National authorities in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru are to be commended for increasing awareness of the dangers posed by landmines, for reducing the number of landmine victims, and for assuming responsibility for their national programs, said OAS.
Tens of thousands of anti-personnel mines and unexploded live munitions have caused over 10.000 fatal victims since 1990 in Colombia, the year when the country started to take records on accidents with this kind of ordnance, said Vice-president Angelino Garzón.
Chile formally requested Monday an extension until March 2020 to complete antipersonnel mines clearance particularly to the north and south of the country, during the meeting of the signatories and observers of the Ottawa Convention taking place in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia.