Switzerland is fully committed to a world without new victims of mines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war. It supports the international community’s political action, finances concrete mine action projects in several contexts, and deploys experts in the field to train local staff and reinforce capacities. Each year, between 16 and 18 million Swiss francs are invested in mine action.
Switzerland is also a founding member of the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), which by setting standards and norms and building local capacities contributes to the security of the affected communities.
Over the last years, many successes have been achieved: stocks of anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions have been destroyed, vast territories have been cleared, international cooperation and assistance have been reinforced and victim assistance recognised as an important obligation. On the political level, the international community now largely considers the use of anti-personnel mines and of cluster munitions to be unacceptable.
These achievements show that a long-term and joint commitment in the fight against mines can help to save lives and reduce the threat of these hazards on local populations.
However, many challenges remain: several states have still not ratified the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention or the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Moreover, some states are not always in the position to implement their obligations with the necessary speed, this is why delays have notably arisen in the clearance of contaminated areas.
Switzerland wishes to sincerely thank all actors involved in the fight against anti-personnel mines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war. Thanks to their commitment, whole populations can return to their lands safely and build a new future.