France welcomes the decision by the United States to eliminate the production and acquisition of antipersonnel mines, announced on June 27, 2014, at the 3rd Review Conference of the Ottawa Convention which is taking place in Maputo. It hopes that this is the first step toward the United States’ accession to this convention which bans antipersonnel mines.
There are still thousands of people around the world who are mutilated or killed every year by antipersonnel mines or other explosive remnants of war, and more than 40 countries or territories remain contaminated by these weapons. In addition to the terrible suffering inflicted on the victims, these weapons represent a major obstacle to the economic and social development of these countries, since they prevent the development of land, creating a climate of fear long after the conflict has ended.
If this American initiative is confirmed, it will be a significant step toward the universalization of the Ottawa Convention, which has still not been ratified by several states that manufacture antipersonnel mines. France continues to work on promoting this instrument and on strengthening its effectiveness. It unreservedly condemns the use of these weapons under all circumstances.