Pavestolen undertegner avtalen, oppfordrer de land som nøler til å revurdere


VATICAN CITY, DEC 5, 1997 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon in Ottawa, Canada, the Holy See signed the international Convention banning anti-personnel land mines, and announced a contribution of $100,000 to the International Red Cross Committee which assists the victims of mines.

Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, secretary for Relations with States, headed the six-member Holy See delegation to the Dec 2-4 conference in Ottawa. He addressed the assembly prior to yesterday's closing ceremony.

The archbishop recalled that Pope John Paul II, in his January 1997 speech to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, "called for a restraining international juridical instrument, accompanied by control mechanisms adapted for the elimination of anti-personnel land mines" because "everything must be done to build a safer world."

He added that "the Holy See's signature on this document is an eloquent sign of the moral support that it gives to this Convention 'on the banning of the use, stock-piling, production and transfer of anti-personnel land mines, and on their destruction'. It also constitutes, for those countries which still hesitate to adhere to it, an invitation to review their position: may everyone have the courage to renounce these weapons which are, par excellence, anti-human!"

Archbishop Tauran termed the Ottawa Convention "a humanitarian Convention. ... The experience of past years shows that the majority of victims (of mines) are not combatants, but rather civilians, including children taken by surprise while playing games."

He added that the Ottawa meeting showed the "political will of the international community" to, among other things, "safeguard the life and dignity of the human person; to favor the return of displaced persons to their homes and places of work" and "to help countries infested by these mines to rid themselves of them definitively."

In concluding remarks, the head of delegation stated that the Holy See "considers this document as a capital element of humanitarian law, inasmuch as anti-personnel land mines are instruments conceived to commit what I would not hesitate to call true 'crimes against humanity'."

DELSS/LAND MINE BAN/OTTAWA:TAURAN                            VIS 971205 (340)
av Webmaster publisert 09.12.1997, sist endret 09.12.1997 - 23:40