The 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner, American Jody Williams, President of the International Campaign to Eliminate Antipersonnel Mines, in a letter to HE the President of the Republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, paid a heartfelt tribute to Algeria for its commitment and action in the fight against antipersonnel mines. The letter was delivered by Ms. Williams to the Ambassador of Algeria in Vienna at a ceremony held in conjunction with the 16th Annual Conference of States Party to the Ottawa Convention on the Elimination of Anti-Personnel Mines, which was held in Vienna from 18 to 21 December 2017.
In her missive, Ms. Williams warmly congratulated the President of the Republic and the Algerian Government for the results achieved, and for fully respecting its commitments under the Ottawa Convention. Ms. Williams welcomed the completion by Algeria of the demining and clean-up operations of the vast mined areas as well as the total destruction in September 2017 of the remaining stocks of anti-personnel mines.
She added that the Algerian experience in this area should serve as an example for all countries in the region and the world.
This annual conference, chaired by Austria, coincides with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Ottawa Convention. At the opening ceremony, Sebastian Kurz congratulated Algeria for fulfilling its commitments in the treaty and Sri Lanka for adhering to the treaty. Algeria was also congratulated by the majority of delegations and was warmly applauded after its speech to this conference.
Algerian practice in the fight against antipersonnel mines.
On the sidelines of this 16th conference, the Algerian Embassy in Vienna organized a parallel event, specifically dedicated to the Algerian experience, with the participation of world personalities known for their commitment to this noble cause, like Prince Mohammed Ben Raad al-Hocine of Jordan, Special Envoy of the Ottawa Convention, the American Jody Williams, Ambassador Thomas Hajnoczi, President of the 16th Conference, and Kathleen Lawand, Director of Disarmament at the ICRC, as well as several ambassadors and high-level officials of the United Nations, all of whom congratulated Algeria for its achievements in this area. These eminent personalities highlighted the Algerian model which they described as “exemplary and of high moral value”, because the key to Algeria’s success in the elimination of anti-personnel mines lies in the appropriation of the objectives of the convention, thanks to the resolute political will of the government, the persevering action of the National People’s Army and the conscious involvement of the Algerian civil society.