22 November 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today highlighted the critical role that the global pact on explosive remnants of war plays in eliminating these deadly weapons, and urged all States that have not jointed the treaty to do so as soon as possible. “Explosive remnants of war that are left behind as a direct consequence of armed conflict continue to kill and maim for years to come,” Mr. Ban told the meeting of States parties to Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.The Convention aims to protect military troops from inhumane injuries and prevent non-combatants from accidentally being wounded or killed by certain types of arms. Protocol V focuses specifically on unexploded and abandoned ordnance which include artillery shells, grenades and gravity bombs. They pose severe threats to civilians because they can explode without cause or accidentally be triggered to detonate. In a message delivered in Geneva by Jarmo Sareva, Director of the Conference on Disarmament Secretariat and Conference Support Branch, Mr. Ban noted that the Protocol has a critical role to play in eliminating explosive remnants of war. He called on participants to build on last year’s conference, during which they took important decisions aimed at strengthening the Protocol’s implementation, and “solidify those commitments and map out a way forward.”He also urged them to build further on the culture of information sharing they have established, and continue efforts to find ways to take generic preventive measures aimed at minimizing the impact of incidents involving these deadly weapons. Over the past year, eight more countries have become parties to Protocol V, bringing the total number to 69.The Secretary-General called on those States that have not yet done so to ratify Protocol V without delay, especially in regions affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war.