19th Meeting of States Parties Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention 15-19 November 2021. Written Statement by Sweden, agenda item 8, general exchange of views.
Excellencies, dear colleagues,
Sweden would like to congratulate you, Ambassador Gabrielse, on your election as President for this Meeting of States Parties and assure you of our full support. We thank you and all those involved in the preparation of this meeting for the excellent arrangements and the great hospitality shown. We also commend the staff of the ISU for their excellent work during this unpredictable time.
Sweden stands fully by the statements delivered by the EU and would like to add some brief remarks from a Swedish perspective.
In the shadow of the pandemic, the global security environment has continued to deteriorate, with increasing polarization and a severe lack of trust between countries. While imperiled, we have been strengthened in our conviction that multilateralism and international cooperation remains our only chance to address our many common challenges and to ensure international peace and security.
The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention is a key achievement for international disarmament, peace and security. The number of States Parties – 164 – stands as a testament to the success of this convention. Although we have reached this great height, we must remain vigilant. Success can also be a breeding ground for complacency. Our goal of a mine-free world will only be possible to achieve if our efforts are sustained. As such, the continued implementation of the Oslo Action Plan is fundamental.
With a feminist foreign policy, it is Sweden’s strong conviction that applying a gender perspective in all aspects of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation will improve the functioning of our collective work and strengthen international peace and security. Sweden warmly welcomes the integration and mainstreaming of gender and diversity considerations into mine action programming, for example by promoting increased employment of women in the sector, which is important not only to challenge gender norms but also for poverty alleviation, as shown by recent studies. Still, 85 % of the victims of mine accidents are men and boys, which points to the need to further analyse how the sector can influence safer behaviour among boys and men.
The links between disarmament and sustainable development is clearly reflected in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the UN Secretary General’s Agenda for Disarmament. Sweden believes that the national ownership and the political will of the cooperation partner countries are key to achieving sustainable development. We can clearly see that when national governments, civil society and other national and international actors come together to define clear mine action strategies, it significantly impacts the effectiveness of operations in these contexts. Mine action is no exception. It needs to become an integrated part of affected States’ development efforts, for example to enable agriculture and the build-up of infrastructure. Further, the humanitarian perspective in mine action remains a key priority, which is reflected through Sweden’s support to mine action in humanitarian emergency contexts.