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Diplomatic Conference on an International Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines, Oslo

The Conference was an exciting moment for campaigners and diplomats who had worked towards the adoption of a universal ban.

H.E. Bjørn Tore Godal, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway opened the meeting.

The Conference elected H.E. Ambassador J. S. Selebi, Permanent Representative of South Africa in Geneva, to lead negotiations, and Belgium, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines and Zimbabwe as Vice Presidents.

According to ICRC records, work was divided in three groups: the Plenary, Committee of the Whole and Friends of the Chair.

On 3 September, the then-Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, addressed the meeting.

On 17 September the Plenary agreed to adopt the text.

On 18 September, the Text of the Convention on the Prohibition of Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction was formally adopted.

It was then handed over to H.E. Bjørn Tore Godal, before being sent to Canada for signing.

The Ottawa Process concludes

Norwegian Foreign Minister Bjoern Tore Godal, left, with Jack Selebi, the South African who chaired The Landmine Ban Treaty Negotiations in Oslo, during the closing ceremony Thursday,September 18, 1997 . (AP PHOTO/PER LOCHEN/NTB, acquiring license.)

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Lloyd Axworthy, center, and Foreign Minister of Norway Bjorn Tore Godal, right, hold the document produced at the Oslo Conference calling for a total ban on anti-personnel mines in 1997. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, left, applauds. (AP Photo/Adam Nadel, obtaining license).