Guterres said IEDs represent the greatest threat to African Union peacekeepers in both Somalia and Mali. He said mines and other explosive remnants of war hinder the mobility of UN peacekeepers in South Sudan and "new explosive threats" are emerging in Central African Republic and Congo.
The secretary-general said 164 countries are parties to the 1997 international treaty against land mines, which prohibits their use, stockpiling, production and transfers and requires their elimination.
He called for the 33 UN member states that haven't ratified it "to do so without delay."
Among the countries that have not ratified are the United States, Russia, China, North Korea, South Korea, Myanmar, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam.
Vietnam holds the Security Council presidency and organized Thursday's virtual meeting, which was presided over by its newly named foreign minister, Bui Thanh Son.
"Every year, land mines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices claim nearly 10,000 casualties, mostly civilian, and children in conflict areas such as Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen, but also alarmingly in places like Cambodia, Laos and my own country, Vietnam, where wars ended decades ago," Bui said.
"It is a reminder of the long-lasting, destabilizing effects to post conflict peace-building and sustainable peace."
Bui said that "almost one-fifth of Vietnam's land areas are still contaminated by unexploded ordnances," and if clearance efforts continue at the current rate and with current resources it "will take another hundred years to complete."
Vikas Swarup, India's vice minister for foreign affairs, expressed deep concern that terrorist groups, including the Islamic State movement, "have resorted to land mines and IEDs
as low cost and effective options to spread terror and threaten innocent civilians.'
"We need to strongly condemn and take effective measures to combat this trend," Swarup said.
US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield noted that the Landmine Monitor's 2020 report said 5,554 people, most of them "innocent civilians," were killed or injured globally in 2019 by land mines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war.
Thomas-Greenfield said US President Joe Biden "believes we need to curtail the use of land mines" and has been clear that he intends to roll back the Trump administration's policy.
The Pentagon said this week it will keep in place a Trump-era policy allowing the use of certain anti-personnel land mines that were restricted under former President Barack Obama while it conducts a review.
The Security Council adopted a presidential statement calling for enhanced international action against mines, war remnants and IEDs, particularly in conflict areas.
Council members called on all parties in armed conflicts "to end immediately and definitively any indiscriminate use of explosive devices in violation of international humanitarian law.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.