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Concerns raised about progress in mine-clearing
[ 2006-09-18 09:27 ]

This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines says mine-clearing efforts made more progress last year than ever before. But the group says it is concerned about future progress because international support decreased for the first time.

It says the European Commission, the United States and eight other major donors decreased their financing of "mine action." This is defined as clearing mines and destroying supplies of them. It also includes mine risk education and survivor assistance.

The Geneva-based campaign released its "Landmine Monitor Report 2006" at the United Nations last week.

The report says that 740 square kilometers, an area about the size of New York City, was cleared of mines last year. It says that is the most land cleared in one year since modern de-mining efforts started in 1980.

Yet the number of reported casualties from landmine explosions was eleven percent higher than in 2004. Landmines killed at least 2,000 people and wounded more than 5,000 others last year. About 80 percent of the victims were civilians.

The campaign blames the increase largely on increased conflict in nations including Burma, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Colombia reported the highest number of casualties -- more than 1,000.

Numbers of reported casualties are often less than half of the real number.

Two countries, Guatemala and Surinam, were declared mine-free. But armed groups in at least ten countries used mines or similar devices in the past year.

The report says three governments used them as well: Burma, Nepal and Russia. These nations have not signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.

40 countries remain outside the treaty. Others include China, India, Pakistan and the United States.

The treaty bans the use, production and trade of landmines. It also requires countries to clear all territory of antipersonnel mines within ten years of when they joined the treaty.

More than 150 governments have joined the Mine Ban Treaty. 29 still have to finish mine-clearing within the next few years. But the campaign says thirteen might not meet that goal, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Mozambique and Thailand.

And that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Jill Moss. You can read transcripts of our reports and download audio at www.unsv.com. This is Shep O'Neal.


antipersonnel : designed to inflict death or bodily injury rather than material destruction(杀伤性的;如:antipersonnel grenade 杀伤性手榴弹)

(来源:VOA   英语点津姗姗编辑)

 
 

 

 

 
 
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