Prince Harry wants to keep Princess Diana’s promise to landmine victims.
Harry quoted his mother as he delivered the keynote address at a Kensington Palace reception for Landmine Free World 2025, a program developed to rid the world of the explosive device by 2025, and recalled a vow she made to two young boys she met who suffered life-changing injuries.
The Princess of Wales’s last overseas tour was to Bosnia in August 1997 where she had met the victims.
“As I mentioned earlier, in August 1997, my mother traveled to Bosnia with Ken Rutherford,” Prince Harry recalled. “When she was there she met two young boys, one Muslim, one Serbian, who had both lost legs to landmines. She shared their stories with the world, and helped campaigners, many of whom are in this room, to change history.”
“Those two young boys, Malic and Zarko, are now grown men and are with us today. Twenty years on, they both still struggle with their physical and emotional injuries and with the high costs of replacing their prosthetics. When my mother said goodbye to Zarko that August, just weeks before her untimely death, she told him he would not be forgotten,” he continued.
“Please help me keep her word to Zarko and Malic, and other people like them throughout the world, who still need us to finish the job and rid the planet of landmines,” he requested.
Harry described it would take an additional 100 million euros, which he notes is “the cost of a star signing for some professional football teams,” each year to get rid of landmines from some of the world’s most affected countries, including Afghanistan, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.
He recognize the “bravery and dedication” of teams from MAG, The Halo Trust, Norwegian People’s Aid, Danish Demining Group and others who helped in declaring 27 countries mine-free. He also thanked the Secretary of State and the U.K. government for their “bold commitment to supporting this vital work with additional funding.”
Harry, who became patron of Diana’s Halo Trust landmine charity, has followed in his mother’s footsteps by visiting minefields in Angola and Mozambique. He believes that the world can be entirely landmine-free by 2025.
“Collectively we have the knowledge, skill, and resources to achieve it, so let’s make future generations proud and finish what we started.”