International Conference on the 20th anniversary of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention

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The Government Office for Mine Action, RACVIAC - Centre for Security Cooperation and Embassy of Canada in the Republic of Croatia are organizing international conference dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.

"Conference on the 20th Anniversary of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention: From the Ottawa Process Toward a Mine Free World" will be held on 17th and 18th October 2017 in the Croatian capital Zagreb and in Sisak-Moslavina County.

In line with the tradition of international expert meetings that had been organized by the Government Office for Mine Action and the RACVIAC, this year's organization is actively being supported by the Embassy of Canada in the Republic of Croatia. As always, the organizers are trying to ensure that the theoretical part of the conference is complemented by the visit to one of the demining worksites in Croatia. This year's plan is to visit the settlement of Sunja, formerly on the frontlines during the 1990s Homeland War, to observe demining activities, as well as to visit the memorial plaque in the settlement Mošćenica, which has been erected in the memory of 12 Croatian citizens killed by landmines.

A special guest of the conference is Hon. Lloyd Axworthy, PhD., former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada and one of the most creditable people for the Ottawa Convention, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for his commitment to humanitarian efforts. The representatives of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the only non-governmental organizations explicitly mentioned in the preamble of the Convention, will also present their organizations' views on the creation of the Convention. Likewise, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Austria, currently chairing the Convention, will discuss the unique example of the cooperation between like-minded states and non-governmental organizations during the Ottawa Process.

Juan Carlos Ruan, the Director of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit, will present current trends in the implementation of the provisions of the Convention, whereas the members of the Croatian NGO “MineAid” will talk about particularly important segment – the assistance to mine victims in Croatia from the perspective of the civil society.

Furthermore, the plans for the future and the realization of the political goal – the world free from mines by 2025 – will be introduced by the leading global mine action operators - Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) and Sabina Beber Boštjančič, the Acting Director of ITF Enhancing Human Security from Ljubljana.

Among the most interesting topics, there is exploration of connection between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and mine action as a prerequisite for a safer world, which will be brought to participants' attention by the Director of the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), Ambassador Stefano Toscano.

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