The existence of landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERWs) because of protracted sequence of domestic and regional conflicts has for decades severely affected countries in the Asia and the Pacific, resulting in thousands of casualties and injuries every year, millions of internally displaced people and many more lives in danger. 21 countries in the region were identified as the affected countries, although extent varied across countries. While efforts and commitments to clear landmines under Article 5 of the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) continue to be undertaken by countries and development partners, few countries are on track to fulfil their obligations due to political, geographical, financial and capacity constraints.
Landmines undermine socio-economic development of the countries and livelihood of people in local communities. They refrain people from access to farming and pastoral lands, trading, housing, and other necessary infrastructures, presenting a great risk for local populations. They pose severe social consequences and considerable burdens on victims/survivors and their family, including expenses on long-term medical care, loss of employment, poverty, hunger, discrimination, and social stigma. The presence of mine contamination in agricultural lands and community environments also makes adapting to the negative impact of climate change largely difficult especially for the vulnerable groups in society.
These challenges around landmines have had a cross cutting impact, affecting not only the country’s development but also its path towards achieving the SDGs as it hinders the economy from reaching its full potential. Against this background, mine-clearing efforts and continued endeavours to address economic, social and environmental consequences of landmines are key to building confidence, in which people can live safely and freely from constraints, and support inclusive, resilient and sustainable development.
The session aims to raise awareness to a broader audience of the challenges and issues of demining and to engage in frank dialogue with experts and institutions on addressing the social and economic development impacts to communities and societies. The deliberations will also highlight the links between mine action and the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs
Representatives of Asia and the Pacific, international and regional organizations, national entities, including non-governmental organizations, private sector, who are engaged in the activities related to mine action will participate.