“In spite of the current situation of the public finances, Italy has played its part in supporting the countries still suffering the consequences of the use of anti-personnel mines”.
These were the words of the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lapo Pistelli, chairing a meeting of the National Committee for Humanitarian Action against Anti-Personnel Mines at the Farnesina today, 27 June. Pistelli commented that in 2012 Italy allocated 2 million euros to the Humanitarian De-mining Fund for projects in Libya, Somalia, Bosnia and Afghanistan. A further 1.2 million will be earmarked this year, with the scope extended to include Sudan and South Sudan.
Over the last year, many countries have ratified the Oslo Convention on Cluster Munitions, already in force in Italy, bringing the number of signatory countries to 161. Just over 30 states have not yet signed, including China, Egypt, Syria, Iran and the United States.
During the last Parliament, a bill was submitted to establish a ban on funding companies producing, selling, transporting or storing anti-personnel mines and cluster munitions or sub-munitions. “The early dissolving of Parliament brought a halt to the discussion but”, concluded the Deputy Minister, “the Government would like to see the bill approved very soon”.