Wed, Mar 19, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan mulling joining Mine Ban Treaty: official

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan is looking to learn more about international efforts to ban landmines and the possibility of joining the Mine Ban Treaty, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said yesterday.

A total of 161 countries are parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, which was signed in 1997 in Ottawa and came into force in 1999, aiming to prohibit the development, production, use, storage and transfer of antipersonnel landmines.

Taiwan has secured a chance to have five young people attend the Third Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Maputo, Mozambique, from June 23 to June 27 by joining the delegation of the Canada-based Mines Action Canada, a coalition of Canadian non-governmental organizations, said Ray Mou (牟華瑋), director-general of the ministry’s Department of NGO International Affairs.

“Although we are not a party to the Mine Ban Treaty, we hope to learn more about the organization and engage more deeply with global efforts to eradicate antipersonnel mines through their [the students’] participation this year,” Mou said.

The treaty was initiated by NGOs, international organizations, UN agencies and governments, with a review conference being convened at five-year intervals by the UN secretary-general.

The ministry, in conjunction with Eden Social Welfare Foundation, is set to select five young people to join the Mines Action Canada delegation in attending this year’s conference, Mou said.

Before heading to the conference, the five representatives will participate in a two-month-long online capacity-building training sessions organized by the Mines Action Canada Youth Leaders’ Forum on issues related to the prohibition of antipersonnel mines, reduction in military forces and other human rights issues, he said.

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