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European Union Council Decision in support of the Cartagena Action Plan – Backgrounder


Through the Council Decision, the European Union is ensuring that commitments made at the 2009 Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World become realities on the ground. Through the Cartagena Action Plan, the Convention’s States Parties made 67 specific commitments in support of enhanced implementation and promotion of the Convention. The EU’s Council Decision aims to contribute to the fulfillment of Cartagena commitments related to mine clearance, victim assistance and the universalization of the Convention.

Mine Clearance:

  • In the Cartagena Action Plan the States Parties made ten specific commitments to act on their resolve to identify mined areas and to clear or release these areas as soon as possible. 
  • The EU Council Decision will support five States Parties in carrying out a comprehensive mid-term appraisal of their implementation of the mine clearance aspects of the Cartagena Action Plan. This will involve national stakeholders’ workshops and follow-up technical missions. The aim is to assist States Parties better understand the size, location and quality of their implementation challenges, and to update their mine clearance plans accordingly.
  • To date, an advance mission has been carried out to Peru and an initial national workshop has been set – tentatively - for later this month. In addition, the ISU hopes to soon proceed with support to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tajikistan.

Victim Assistance:

  • In the Cartagena Action Plan, the States Parties resolved to integrate victim assistance into broader national policies, plans and legal frameworks related to disability and other contexts. The Council Decision provides resources to the ISU to support up to three States Parties in carrying out a comprehensive national mid-term appraisal of their efforts to implement this and other victim assistance aspects of the Cartagena Action Plan.
  • The EU Council Decision’s support may be most valuable for those States Parties which are also parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) or which are committed to accede to it.
  • The Council Decision’s support could assist States Parties in acting on concluding observations of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – and doing so in such a way to address States Parties promise to landmine survivors. The clear path towards the accession process being completed in the short-term and in a stocktaking of efforts to equalise opportunities for persons with disabilities including landmine survivors.
  • The Council Decision will also support a global, high level conference on assistance to the victims of landmines and other explosive remnants of war, with the aim of building on the experience of this Convention in order to take advantage of victim assistance synergy with other instruments, including the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).


  • The Council Decision aims to address observations made at the Cartagena Summit that “more intensive efforts likely are needed, with new tools, to overcome outdated thinking about the utility of anti-personnel mines” and that there is “a dire need for States Parties, at the ministerial level or higher, to engage States not parties.”
  • The Council Decision will sponsor high-level visits to States that are not party to the Convention by prominent figures who are deeply committed to the anti-landmines cause: Prince Mired Raad Al Hussein of Jordan will continue its prominent role as Special Envoy of the Convention. In addition, multi-Grammy award winning artist Juanes will join the high-level push to ban anti-personnel mines with the hope that he will carry messages to high-level in Cuba and the United States. 
  • A study on border security without anti-personnel mines will be conducted. The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces will serve as a partner in carrying out this initiative.

The Convention’s Implementation Support Unit will implement the Council Decision over 21 months leading up to the Convention’s Third Review Conference in 2014. The European Union has mandated that the objectives of the Council Decision shall be pursued in such a way that reinforces the Convention’s historic culture of partnership and collaboration between States, non-governmental and other organizations, particularly the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. The European Union has allocated €1.03 million to implement the Council Decision.

1 March 2013