Landmine treaty president to engage with Ukraine on alleged use of prohibited weapon

Geneva and Berlin – The President of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (also known informally as Ottawa Convention), which bans the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of anti-personnel mines is concerned by a report issued by Human Rights Watch on the alleged use of these weapons by members of the Ukrainian forces.

The President, Ambassador of Germany to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva H.E. Thomas Göbel, has said:

“As Presidency of the Ottawa Convention, together with the 164 States Parties to the Convention and in keeping with the Oslo Action plan, we condemn the use of anti-personnel mines anywhere, at any time, and by any actor, including by armed non-state actors. In times of war as in peace the norm against these weapons must be respected by all parties in conflict. We therefore take seriously a report by Human Rights Watch about the alleged use of anti-personnel mines by members of the Ukrainian armed forces. Together with the Convention’s Committee on Cooperative Compliance, we will use the established procedures to seek clarification of the allegations. We are confident that we can continue to fully rely on Ukraine’s cooperation in this respect, as announced by Ukraine in its reaction to the report.

The Convention President is following treaty procedure and engaging with Ukraine in line with the treaty’s spirit of cooperation in addressing allegations of non-compliance. Ukraine has always maintained its adherence to treaty norms and objectives.

In April the then-President of the Convention condemned the use of these weapons in Ukraine at the hands of a state not party, Russia.

Editorial note: The Convention was adopted in Oslo and signed in Ottawa 25 years ago, it entered into force in 1999. It is the prime humanitarian and disarmament treaty aimed at ending the suffering caused by anti-personnel mines by prohibiting their use, stockpiling, production, and transfer, ensuring their destruction, and assisting the victims. Together, the States Parties have destroyed over 54 million anti-personnel mines. Landmine clearance under the Convention has contributed to peace and development by making millions of square metres of land safe again for normal human activity.