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Int'l landmine treaty now 10 years old

GENEVA, Switzerland, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- The Switzerland-based International Campaign to Ban Landmines marked the 10th anniversary Monday of the signing of a treaty by 122 nations.

A spokesman for the organization in Geneva said the number of countries agreeing to ban the use, production, trade and stockpiling of anti-personnel mines has grown to 156 since the treaty was adopted in Canada in 1997.

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Major powers such as the United States, China, India, Pakistan and Russia have not yet joined the effort.

"Banning a conventional weapon, which was used by fighting forces worldwide, was a historic achievement, which continues to inspire the world," said Jody Williams who won the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in bringing about the treaty.

Calling the treaty a work in progress, ICBL Executive Director Sylvie Brigot said the group must continue efforts "to make sure that it makes a real difference in the lives of individuals and communities haunted by landmines."

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