Colombia is one of the most landmine-contaminated countries in the world. As part of a plan to bring a just and lasting peace to Colombia in the wake of more than fifty years of violence, the United States is co-leading with Norway the Global Demining Initiative for Colombia. Landmines and unexploded ordnance have killed or injured more than 11,000 Colombians over the past 25 years.
Since 1993, the United States has invested more than $43 million in the clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance in Colombia. Under the new initiative, the United States and Norway will expand support for Colombia’s demining efforts, and plan to provide an additional $33 million and $20 million respectively over the next three years toward humanitarian mine action and victims assistance.
Since 1993, the United States has invested more than $43 million in the clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance in Colombia.
The United States and Norway are rallying the international community to support Colombia’s demining efforts. The initiative has become a truly global effort. Regional partners Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay have joined, along with the European Union, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The goal of the initiative is to support Colombia’s pursuit of its Mine-Ban Convention obligation to become mine free by 2021.
The United States continues to support Colombia’s efforts to negotiate a just and lasting peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. Fifty-two years of conflict and violence have killed more than 220,000 people and forcibly displaced more than six million. Last month, the United States co-sponsored U.N. Security Council Resolution 2261, establishing a monitoring and verification mission to be put in place following the signing of peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC.
Colombians now have an historic opportunity to take important steps toward a future free from conflict, violence, and landmines.As the world’s leading provider of technical and financial assistance for the clearance of explosive remnants of war, the United States looks forward to working with its partners to help ensure that Colombians can walk in peace and security.