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The European Union is pleased to welcome Sri Lanka as 163rd State Party to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. On 13 December 2017, Sri Lanka deposited its instrument of accession to the Convention of the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (commonly known as the Ottawa Convention). Many Sri Lankans suffered, and continue to suffer from the consequences of the use of Anti-Personnel Mines during the conflict in the country. In acceding to the Convention, Sri Lanka increases the safety and security of its people and commits itself to all obligations of the Convention, including clearing minefields, destroying stockpiles and assisting victims. The accession of Sri Lanka to the Convention is an important step in the further universalisation of the Convention, which is already now a global norm.
The European Union is a staunch and consistent supporter of the strengthening of the Ottawa Treaty. All 28 EU Member States have acceded to the Convention and we are determined in pursuing its objectives and promoting its universalisation and full implementation. States not yet party to the Ottawa Convention should join without delay and actively implement all aspects of the Maputo Action Plan in order to achieve the goal of a world free of mines by 2025. The European Union is actively involved in the preparations for the Sixteenth Meeting of the States Parties to the Ottawa Convention to be held on 18 – 21 December 2017 in Vienna.