The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, released the following statement:
«Thousands of people in the world - civilians and, among them, many children, who have already experienced the sufferings of war and of extreme poverty - continue to die or to suffer extremely severe disabilities because of anti-personnel landmines, cluster bombs and unexploded remnants of war.
The International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action established by the United Nations calls on international public opinion, institutions and civil society organisations to relaunch the goal of effectively eliminating these deceitful and ruthless weapons of utmost inhumanity that have been rightly banned by the Ottawa and Oslo Conventions.
Banning anti-personnel mines and any other device designed to make whole territories inaccessible represents an important starting point for assuring respect for human rights: not only protect the victims of war but also avoid that the effects of the conflict paralyze the life of communities in the post-conflict transition and reconstruction phase. These cowardly and brutal weapons aim to deprive of hope the people seeking a future for themselves and their loved ones beyond war.
Humanity cannot tolerate this. Our Country will continue to give all the support possible to the international organisations involved in implementing humanitarian mine clearance plans to give back to the populations the territories contaminated with these hazardous devices.
I address a special thanks to all the volunteers and associations who, with great civil passion, work indefatigably in the places most plagued by war to finally reopen the doors to a more decent future.
Lastly, on this Day, I reaffirm the hope that the Italian Parliament might soon promote a new legislative effort, consistent with our constitutional principles, to also effectively combat supporting companies that produce anti-personnel landmines and cluster munition. »
Rome, 4 April 2018