Solving the mine problem in Croatia

Canadian-Croatian Congress

Kanadsko-hrvatski Kongres  

 3550 Commercial Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V5N – 4E9   Phone: 604 879-8915

August 13, 2002

The Honorable Bill Graham, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Parliamentary Office – Room 418-N, Centre Block
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6                                                                  Fax: (613) 996-9607

Dear Mr. Graham,

It was a pleasure to meet with you on Monday August 5th, 2002, during the reception with Sophia Leung, CM, MP. Vancouver Kingsway at Kensington Community Centre. I am writing to you as the president of Canadian-Croatian Congress K.H.K.  Our organization has been successful in dealing with many issues that concern the Croatian community in Canada.

However, one of those issues namely “solving the mine problem in Croatia” comes up persistently every year.  As a result of the war between 1991-1995, Croatia is one of the ten most mine contaminated countries in the world, with estimated one million mines laid on the area of approximately 4500km.

Because of the mines, areas with commercial potential are sitting idle, the return of displaced people has been slowed down and the arable land which is the only means of existence close to the reconstructed houses is mined and the impediment to movement is frustrating.

Croatia has shown determination to solve the mine problem by claiming a moratorium on the use, production, import, export and stockpiling of antipersonnel mines, as well as demining of contaminated areas.  Croatia supported the Ottawa Treaty and participated in the preparations for the convention that was signed in December 1997.

However, as the focus of the international community shifted, there was less financial support for the problem of demining, although the problem itself was identified as an international issue.

Croatia does have the goal of Mine Action:  to eliminate all mines in Croatia by the year 2010.  We kindly ask you to help us in that undertaking with financial support of $ 500,000.00.

Sincerely Yours,

Ivan Curman, President

Copy of the letter sent to:

–   The Hon. David Anderson, P.C., M.P.
–   The Hon. Elinor Caplan, P.C., M.P.
–   The Hon. Martin Cauchon, P.C., M.P.
–   The Hon. Sheila Maureen Copps, P.C., M.P.
–   The Hon. Harbance Singh (Herb) Dhaliwal, P.C., M.P.

–   Ms. M.P. Sophia Leung, M.P

–   The Hon. John Paul Manley, P.C., M.P.
–   The Hon. A. Anne McLellan, P.C., M.P.
–  The Hon. Stephen Owen, P.C., M.P.
–  The Hon. Allan Rock, P.C., M.

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