February 2-3 Romania hosted the Reay Group Workshop: Progress in
meeting the aims of the Ottawa Convention in South Eastern Europe
(see the Chair's Summary). More
than 20 countries met in Bucharest to discuss overcoming
challenges associated in eliminating anti-personnel mines in South Eastern
Europe. All States in South Eastern Europe are now members of the Ottawa
Convention - the international treaty banning anti-personnel mines. These
States now have 10 years to clear mined areas and 4 years to destroy
existing stocks of the weapon.
The Reay Group, which was created by the European Union's
Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, coordinates regional efforts to
eliminate landmines in the region. Romanian Ambassador Sergiu Celac chairs
the Group. The Reay Group Workshop will see States like Bosnia and
Herzegovina - which is one of the most mine-affected countries in the
world -provide updates on progress made in clearing landmines and an
inventory of challenges that remain.