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IDPP Board & Faculty Member Co-Chairs Demining Symposium

IDPP Board and Faculty Member Amb. Luis Gallegos at Demining Symposium (photo)IDPP Advisory Board and faculty member Ambassador Luis Gallegos served as co-president of this week’s “Symposium on Cooperation and Assistance: Building Synergy towards Effective Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Implementation” held in Bangkok, Thailand from 23-25 June 2013. Hosted by the governments of Thailand and Australia, the Symposium attracted more than 100 experts and diplomats representing over 35 states and 10 international and non-governmental organizations. The event’s aim was to discuss strategies to enhance cooperation and assistance between landmine-affected countries in fulfilling the demining objectives set forth by the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban (Ottawa) Convention.

One of the symposium’s main emphases was to highlight the close relationship that exists between the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the Ottawa Convention. A key discussion point included how implementing the Ottawa Convention and the UNCRPD would assist States Parties in realizing the goals set forth in the Cartagena Action Plan and the United Nations Mine Action Centre’s 2013-2018 Strategy.

The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention was adopted in Oslo, Norway in 1997, opened for signature in Ottawa the same year and entered into force on 1 March 1999. Since the establishment of the Convention, 25 of 59 States Parties that have reported mined areas have declared completion of their mine clearance obligation, and demining has resulted in millions of square meters of once-dangerous land being released for normal human activity. To date, 161 countries have signed the convention.

The IDPP applauds Ambassador Gallegos on this distinct honor and continued achievements to create an inclusive, barrier-free and rights-based world.

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