FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, ON – On the 20th anniversary of the Ottawa Treaty on banning landmines, David Anderson, Member of Parliament for Cypress Hills—Grasslands and Shadow Cabinet Secretary for International Human Rights and Religious Freedom; and David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Flamborough—Glanbrook and Vice-Chair of the Sub-Committee on International Human Rights, today called on the Government of Canada to amplify its commitment to the Treaty and Canada’s goal of achieving a landmine-free world by 2025.
“The Ottawa Treaty is credited as a major component in the clearance of landmines, the reduction of mine-inflicted casualties and mine stockpiles, and successful international collaboration on these issues,” said Anderson. “On this 20th anniversary of the Treaty, the Government of Canada must show international leadership in the effort to achieve a long-sought-after solution to a finite problem.”
Of the 64 countries still contaminated by landmines, Anderson and Sweet pointed to Burma (Myanmar) and Iraq as situations where Canada’s leadership is needed now more than ever.
“In some of the most powerful testimony we’ve heard on the Rohingya crisis at the Sub-Committee on International Human Rights, we were told that Burma remains active in the production of landmines. The military is actively laying landmines on the Burma-Bangladesh border in an attempt to prevent people from fleeing persecution. It is clear that Canadian leadership on landmine clearance is crucial once that area stabilizes,” said Sweet.
“Similarly, the tyranny of ISIS in Iraq has led to huge increases in the number of improvised landmines and unprecedented levels of contamination,” said Anderson. “The people of Iraq are now seeing the first increase in decades.”
“It’s clear that a more concerted effort is needed from the government in order to reach the 2025 goal. The government must step up to its political and diplomatic obligations under the Ottawa Treaty despite the outbreak of new conflict,” concluded Sweet.
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For more information, please contact the office of:
David Anderson, MP: (613) 992-0657 or (306) 778-4480
David Sweet, MP: (613) 996-4984