On the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy today (3 April) issued the following statement:
“Even years after a conflict has ended landmines and unexploded ordnance kill and maim – costing also children life and limb. The German Government is therefore campaigning hard for a complete and universal ban at last on anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions. We are pressing for still more countries to sign up to the ban on mines and cluster munitions. We address this appeal particularly to the United States, Russia, China, Brazil and India. As members of the UN Security Council, they have special responsibility to set an example to others.”
Already in 1997 Germany destroyed its own stocks of anti-personnel mines. The last remaining minefields on the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany along its former border with the German Democratic Republic were successfully cleared after reunification. Germany unilaterally renounced the use of cluster munitions in 2008, a good two years before the entry into force of the Oslo Convention on Cluster Munitions in August 2010.
The German Government is also one of the world’s leading donors to humanitarian mine action. Since 1992 the Federal Foreign Office has made available 200 million euro in funding for mine action projects in 42 countries around the world. In 2011 it will spend some 15 million euro on clearing landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war. Over the past decade the European Commission has provided 1.5 billion euro for this purpose, of which Germany has contributed over 300 million euro.