Statement by Sweden. Agenda item 8. General exchange of views.
Please let me start by congratulating you, Ambassador Ayala Meléndez, on your appointment as President of this Meeting of the States Parties. I can assure you of the full support from the Swedish delegation.
Sweden stands fully by the statements delivered by the European Union. Please allow me to add a few remarks from a national perspective.
The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention is a key achievement for international disarmament, peace and security, and we are happy to celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. The number of States Parties – 164 – stands as a testament to the success of this Convention. Sweden’s position remains clear: we stand fully behind the global ban on anti-personnel mines and we condemn their use by any actor, whether a State or non-State actor, anywhere, at any time. We call on all States that have not yet done so to join this Convention without further delay.
This year, we have witnessed severe threats to the global norm against the use of anti-personnel mines. We meet here today in the shadow of Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine, which is unprovoked, unjustifiable, and illegal. Sweden condemns Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, aided by the Belarusian regime, in the strongest possible terms. We are appalled by Russia’s use of anti-personnel mines in Ukraine, with devastating, long-lasting effects. We call on Russia to immediately cease using this inhumane weapon, to respect IHL and to immediately and unconditionally withdraw all its troops and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders. We stand in full solidarity with Ukraine and we commend the Ukrainian people’s strength, courage and resistance.
International assistance is a key part of this Convention. Sweden continues to support several States, including Ukraine, as well as other stakeholders in clearing mines, raising awareness, supporting victims, educating on risks and advocating for mine action. Last year, our financial support amounted to more than 139 million Swedish Crowns, approximately 13 million Swiss Francs, mainly administered by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). We call on all states in a position to do so to contribute to mine action, as an important contribution to international peace, security and sustainable development.
Sweden reiterates the importance of ensuring financial stability of the Convention and its Implementation Support Unit. We fully support the President’s efforts to improve the financial situation during this Twentieth Meeting of States Parties. Sweden calls on all States Parties to pay their assessed contributions to the ISU, as well as their shares to the Convention’s budget, in full and on time.
Lastly, let me reiterate that Sweden is a firm champion of gender equality. We believe that by applying a gender perspective to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, we can improve our collective work and strengthen international peace and security.