NCBL submitted a letter to the Speaker
Date: 2078. 1. 20
Right Honorable Speaker Mr. Agni Prasad Sapkota,
Speaker's Office, Singha Durbar
Subject: About entering into the Mine Ban Treaty
Landmines and explosives used during the ten-year armed conflict have caused a lot of damage. Thousands of people have been injured and maimed by this weapon and hundreds lost their lives. This weapon was easy to produce and use. It was used and produced by both conflicting parties. But as a result, innocent civilians who had nothing to do with the war/conflict became victims of this weapon.
The removal and destruction of landmines and explosives was completed only on June 14, 2011, as fulfilling obligations of Comprehensive Peace Agreement 2006. It cost more than a billion dollars. Those affected by the weapon are still living a miserable life.
Past experience has shown us that landmines and explosives are inhumane and indiscriminate weapons, affecting the innocent people more, and that destroying them and securing land requires a great deal of human resources, time and financial burden. Nepal, with the help of the United Nations Mine Action Team, destroyed 52,617 explosives at seven cantonment sites. By June 14, 2011, more than 10,000 landmines in 53 areas had been destroyed, declaring Nepal a "landmine field-free Nepal." Nepal cleared 2 hundred 25 thousand and 217. 46 square meters of land was and handed over to the people for reuse.
The government also received assistance from various donor countries, including the World Bank, through the Peace Trust Fund for victim assistance and risk education.
Mine action was an important part of the peace process in Nepal. The removal and destruction of landmines and explosives in Nepal has greatly reduced the number of victims, created an environment in which people can move from one place to another without fear, and facilitated development activities. Therefore, a strong legal provision is needed in Nepal to prevent the threat of landmines and explosives in the future. That law could become effective once Nepal enters into the Mine Ban Treaty. So far, 164 nations have become party to the treaty.
Representatives of the Government of Nepal have participated in various international forums on the aforesaid treaty and have expressed their commitment to ban landmines. Representatives of various political parties have already pledged to ban landmines. But the Government of Nepal has not entered into the treaty. The international community wants to Finish the Job by 2025 and conclude all treaties related activities. The community urges Nepal to enter into this treaty as soon as possible. We want Nepal to move forward in solidarity with the nations of the world to protect humanity and human rights by participating in a global campaign to ban the production, use, transfer and storage of landmines. In today's globalized world, Nepal cannot live alone. For this, the organization expects the special initiative of the Honorable Speaker.
Right Honorable Speaker,
While we are talking about these things about Nepal, we would also like to mention some of the developments in the international mine action.
Since the signing of the Mine Ban Treaty in 1997, 164 nations have entered the treaty and established themselves as state parties of the convention. It is a treaty that governments around the world have taken the initiative to implement at the request of the world's civil society. The treaty is also an international law that completely prohibits the use, production, storage and distribution of landmines. Now the nations that have used, produced and stored these weapons are facing a great challenge in front of the world. The United States, which used to produce, sell, distribute, use, and store landmines, has also banned the use, distribution, and production of landmines. China, India and Pakistan have already signed Protocol 5 to Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.
According to the Landmine Monitor Report 2020, in 2019 alone, the Allies have destroyed 55 million landmines and cleared an area of 156 square kilometers. More than two decades after the treaty was signed, world opinion has turned against countries such as Syria and Burma that use landmines.
Landmines are easy to use, but difficult and expensive to destroy. Sixty countries are still affected by landmines. Of which 33 are state parties. The effects of landmines persist for decades after the war, and civilians are affected. In 2019 alone, 5,554 civilians were affected by the weapon. Of these, 2,170 died. Eighty percent of those killed and injured were civilians, including 43 percent children. In 2019, 2,994 people were killed or injured by IEDs. Landmine-affected numbers are high in 34 countries.
Finally, there is no time for Nepal to delay. We heartily request you to enter into the treaty and take maximum initiative for solidarity with the world and for the security and lasting peace and protection of the Nepali people.
With heartily request
Purna Shova Chitrakar
Ban Landmines Campaign Nepal (NCBL)