From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Land mine treaty ratified in record time

Date 01 Oct 1998 11:05:14

Churches and their partners playing a major role

GENEVA, 28 September 1998 (lwi) - The global movement to eradicate
antipersonnel land mines reached a major milestone when Burkina Faso became
the fortieth nation to ratify the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty on September 16. The
treaty will now enter into force - becoming binding international law - on
March 1, 1999, following the six-month waiting period provided for in the
treaty. Since then Namibia has also ratified it.

It has been five years since the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) called
upon all member churches to work for the eradication of land mines. A third
of the one thousand non-governmental organizations that make up the
International Campaign to Ban Landmines are related to churches or other
faith traditions.

Commenting on the treaty, Rebecca Larson, Secretary for Research and
Development Education at the LWF in Geneva, said, "While the fortieth
ratification is an important step, the treaty is not a goal in itself, but
the means to a goal, which is a world free of land mines. There is still
much work to be done, and the land mines campaign still needs the churches.

Larson continued, "It is necessary to move beyond the current 41
ratifications and pressure those of the 130 countries which have signed it
and not yet ratified it. Continued monitoring and pressure must be
sustained to ensure that land mines in the ground are removed. Attention
must be given to assisting people and communities affected by land mines.
This is now the agenda for the campaign and for churches around the world."

The LWF's booklet, The Landmines Campaign Still Needs the Churches, written
to help and encourage those interested in supporting the campaign, is still
available in English, French, Spanish and German from Rebecca Larson, P. O.
Box 2100, CH - 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland; telephone: (41 22) 791-64-28;
fax: (41 22) 791-05-28; e-mail:

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Lutheran World Information
Editorial Assistant: Janet Bond-Nash

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