Bid to get Egypt, Libya and Morocco to sign Ottawa Treaty

Bid to get Egypt, Libya and Morocco to sign Ottawa Treaty

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Cambodia has called on Ghana and 52 other African states, who are parties to the Ottawa Treaty, to help get fellow states Egypt, Libya and Morocco to also become signatories.

Ly Thuch, Senior Minister and First Vice-President of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) and President of the 2024 Ottawa Convention, made the call during the opening ceremony of the Africa Regional Conference on Addressing the Humanitarian Impact of Landmines in the Context of the Ottawa Convention in Accra, Ghana on Tuesday.

The regional conference was attended by Alhaji Mahamadu Bawumia, Vice-President of Ghana, and Ambrose Dery, Minister of the Interior of Ghana.

Speaking at the event, Thuch said that the regional conference is a demonstration of the joint commitment to the human cause and an opportunity for African countries to provide input into the next five-year action plan of the Ottawa Convention.

The conference will provide a great opportunity for working together, sharing knowledge and developing new ideas to combat the dangers and risks posed by landmines in order to build and promote peace, security and development.

Thuch said, “Our meeting here shows our overwhelming compassion and our united commitment to a cause that is not just important but necessary for humanity.”

He added, “This year marks an important milestone for the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention since we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Convention as well as convene the 5th Review Conference.”

Cambodia has a great honour bestowed upon it by all the 164 state parties to be the president and host of this conference, and Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Manet named it, “the Siem Reap-Angkor Summit on a Mine-Free World.”

The summit will be held from November 25 to 29 in Siem Reap, Angkor, considered one of the most attractive tourism destinations by world expert organisations, he noted.

Thuch said, “One of our obligations is to promote the norm and universalisation of the convention. Now, there are only three states not yet party in Africa, namely Egypt, Libya, and Morocco.

“I would like to call for the kind support of the Republic of Ghana and the other 52 state parties in Africa to bring those three countries to join the convention community and make Africa the proud and inspiring continent in which all countries are state parties to the convention,” he added.

Lang Kosal, a CMAA official, noted that it is obligatory to mobilise other countries to join the Ottawa Treaty.

The Ottawa Treaty is a formal UN convention with 164 signatories, including Cambodia.

Cambodia signed the treaty on December 3, 1997, and the treaty became binding international law on March 1, 1999.

As the Chair of the 2024 Ottawa Convention, Cambodia intends to concentrate on assisting those affected by landmines and explosive ordnance. The goal of the government and its partner groups is to make everyday living simpler for the disabled by giving them physical training and resources. Thuch said that Cambodia will keep assisting in the removal of mines found in rural areas.

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