“Today is the Day of International Day of Mine Awareness. Let us please renew the commitment for a world without mines!” tweeted Pope Francis on April 4, 2017, on the occasion of the day dedicated to this cause.
It is estimated that at least 20,000 people are mutilated by these mines every year, which continue to kill even after several years of the end of conflicts. In fact, 100 million are disseminated around the world.
A protest against the use of these ordnances has often been raised from the Chair of Peter. In 2014, in a message to the ‘Conference for the Revision of the Convention Prohibiting the Use of Anti-Personnel Mines,’ held in Mozambique, Pope Francis described them as “inhuman,” “irresponsible,” and “cowardly.” The Pope’s appeal to the International Community on that occasion was “that there be no more victims of mines” and that “no child should live in fear” of these ordnances.
A concept that was confirmed a year ago, on April 3, 2016, when at the end of the recitation of the Regina Caeli in St. Peter’s Square, the Holy Father lamented that “too many people continue to be killed or mutilated by these terrible arms, and courageous men and women risk their life to reclaim mined lands.”
In 2006, the Holy See was among the major promoters of the ‘Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Storage, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction.’ A year later, on Sunday, November 18, 2007, at the end of the Angelus, Benedict XVI sent a message to the Conference underway in Jordan to speed up the ban on anti-personnel mines: “I express (. . .) my heartfelt hope and encouragement for the Conference’s successful outcome, so that these ordnances, which continue to sow victims, among them many children, are completely banned.”