December 16, 2017

The Permanent Representative of Cyprus Deposits the Instrument of Ratification of the Ottawa Convention Banning Anti-Personnel Landmines

The Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN, Ambassador Sotos Zackheos deposited today (17.01.03) at the UN Office of Legal Affairs, the Instrument of Ratification of the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Landmines and on their Destruction, signed by the President of the Republic of Cyprus, H.E. Mr. Glafcos Clerides. The Convention is considered to be one of the most important agreements in the field of disarmament and Cyprus was one of the first countries to sign the Convention that has been ratified by 134 countries in total. The deposition took place in the presence of the Director of the UN Treaty Section of the UN Office of Legal Affairs, Mr. Palitha Kohona.

Ambassador Zackheos in his brief address, noted that the ratification of the Ottawa Convention highlights the desire of the Cyprus Government for peace and reconciliation in Cyprus and it sends a message to the Turkish Cypriot community which has, during recent demonstrations, clearly expressed its hope for a peaceful settlement of the Cyprus problem and prosperity within a united Europe.

He added that with the ratification, Cyprus is participating actively in the international effort for the complete destruction of this inhumane weapon that leads to more than 800 deaths and 1200 amputations a month, in particular of women and children. The Permanent Representative of Cyprus noted the importance of the clearance of landmine fields so that the land can be used for agricultural and peaceful purposes.

Ambassador Zackheos went on to congratulate the non-governmental organizations for their crucial role in setting up the Ottawa Convention and sensitizing governments and the international community of the need for its ratification.

In turn Mr. Palitha expressed the gratitude of the Secretary General of the UN, Mr. Kofi Annan, for Cyprus’ deposition of the instrument of ratification and he congratulated the Cypriot Government for this act of humanism and for taking the high moral ground on this issue.