April 4 marks the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. On this occasion the Center for Mine Cleanup has issued a statement urging the public and government officials to pay greater attention to this important issue. The statement issued by this Iranian NGO, which is headed by Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi appears below:
April 4, the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action
Statement by the Center for Mine Cleanup
Center for Mine Cleanup on the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action issued a statement demanding greater attention by the public and policy makers to this important issue. April 4, is a day when the international community condemned mine use and mines as a deadly weapon with special characteristics setting it apart from other man made weapons. In essence this weapon does not differentiate between war and peace, soldier and farmer, or passerby and assailant. Mines only take victims. The consequences of living in mine infected areas have impacted the lives of all citizens living in war torn areas, and have resulted in loss of human life and injuries, insecurity in living and working conditions. Additionally the existence of mines in these areas, prevent and impede efforts at reconstruction and development of these lands and the lives of the residents. .
Twenty years after the end of the imposed war, five provinces of our country (West Azarbaijan, Ilam, Khouzestan, Kermanshah and Kurdistan) still suffer from problems caused by Mines. The government has not acted in the manner expected of it to address the problem. As such, the Center for Mine Cleanup urges the government to take action as follows:
Expedite the process of mine cleanup, with the aim of preventing further loss of life and injury and creating a safe living and working environment for the residents of these areas.
Share, in a timely manner, information about the progress in cleaning mine infected areas in these 5 provinces.
Educate the residents of these areas about the dangers of mines, especially children who are most often the silent victims of mines.
Support fully all those who have been injured by mines through government sponsored assistance programs.
Work in concert with the international community in finding solutions to this global problem.
In the hopes of eliminating all mines from Iran
Center for Mine Cleanup
April 4, 2009