The Oslo Review Conference on a Mine-Free World
Your Royal Highnesses
Ladies and gentlemen
I am very pleased to welcome you all to Norway for the 4th Review Conference of the Mine Ban Convention. More than 600 representatives from state parties, observer countries and civil society are here this afternoon. Even more participants will be present when the conference starts tomorrow.
I believe this is testimony to the importance of the topic and the occasion. You are here to discuss a problem that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Many of you are all too familiar with the real costs of the landmine problem – in terms of human suffering, broken communities and lost development opportunities.
Some of you here today are survivors of land mines or you come from areas that are affected by land mines. And many of you that work on this issue have been to many field visits. I have also had the opportunity to see firsthand the work that is done in the field – in Cambodia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia and in the Republic of South Sudan. I also visited Jordan in 2012, and I salute the very challenging work that has been done in de-mining the country.
Through courage, responsibility and persistence from several contributors, people’s everyday lives in former conflict zones are completely changed, and social and economic development is possible.
To all of you here today, I commend you for your dedication to solving a very real problem that continues to affect the lives of thousands of people around the world.
I hope you will have productive and successful days here in Oslo, and wish you all the best of luck with the conference.