The HALO Trust will be joining others in the mine action sector today at an event for parliamentarians, to raise awareness of the impact of explosive weapons on innocent people.
The event, taking place under the shadow of Big Ben on Speakers' Green, is co-ordinated by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Explosive Weapons. It will highlight the humanitarian impact of explosive weapons and the UK’s leading role in mitigating this impact.
Roger Mullin MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Explosive Weapons, said:
The demonstration event today is designed to bring home to my political colleagues some of the horror that explosive weapons cause to innocent people and to those whose job it is to deal with the weapons and the aftermath of their use. It is my personal belief that if politicians around the world can work together on this appalling issue, we can make a huge impact in saving people’s lives and helping lift many people out of poverty and deprivation.
The UK government is one of The HALO Trust’s biggest donors. Alongside other governments, foundations and private donors, the Department for International Development and UK AID fund a wide range of our programmes around the world.
Simon Conway, Director of Strategy, HALO commented:
Huge progress has been made over the last twenty years or so. Thousands of vulnerable communities have been put back on their feet as a result of landmine clearance by HALO and other operators. However, there is a long way to go if we are to rid the world of landmines by 2025 and the challenges presented by modern day conflicts are becoming more complex. We are increasingly confronted by other deadly aspects of war such as small arms, explosives, ammunition and the ubiquitous Improvised Explosive Device – the IED.
Today’s event is an important step towards creating a broader understanding of the issues faced by NGOs and commercial actors in the field. Through conversation and demonstrations of techniques and technology, it will inform parliamentarians.
At 10:15 hrs Tobias Ellwood MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Roger Mullin MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Explosive Weapons,will open the event.
At 11:00 hrs Rt Hon Lindsay Hoyle MP, DeputySpeaker of the House of Commons,will attend.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, The Rt Hon John Bercow MP, said:
The UK is at the forefront of the global effort to combat the threat of these weapons, and coping with the dreadful aftermath when these weapons do find their target. I am delighted to be able to add my support to this effort and urge my colleagues in both Houses to come and learn about this valuable work.