24 - Regional Conference on Landmines, Zagreb, Croatia, 27–29 June 1999  pp. 645-651

Regional Conference on Landmines, Zagreb, Croatia, 27–29 June 1999

By Louis Maresca and Stuart Maslen

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Organized by the government of Croatia

This regional conference was organized by the government of Croatia as a follow-up to the meeting hosted by the government of Hungary in March 1998. Its purpose was to examine the current state of affairs in the regional efforts to eliminate landmines and to promote the ratification and implementation of the Ottawa treaty. The meeting brought together representatives from 33 countries from within and outside central and eastern Europe to discuss issues related to mine awareness, mine victim assistance, mine clearance, the military utility ofanti-personnel mines and the status of ratification and implementation of the Ottawa treaty.

Address by Cornelio Sommaruga President of the International Committee of the Red Cross

Zagreb Regional Conference on Landmines

28 June 1999

Eliminating Anti-personnel Landmines:

Continuing the process

It is an honour and a pleasure to address the Zagreb Regional Conference on Landmines. I thank the Government of Croatia, the Croatian Red Cross and the Croatian Mine Action Centre for inviting the International Committee of the Red Cross to take part in this event and for inviting me to address this important meeting. By hosting this meeting, Croatia is helping to keep the spotlight on the plague of landmines which this region knows all too well. But we will also focus on the comprehensive solution to this problem contained in the Ottawa treaty and the crucial efforts being made in the region to implement its provisions.

Much has occurred since the countries ofthis region last came together to discuss landmines. As many ofy ou will recall, in March 1998, only 3 months after the signing of the Convention on the Prohibition on the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines, the Government of Hungary took an important initiative in hosting the Budapest Regional Conference on Anti-personnel Landmines.