HOME > Newsroom > Press Release Archives > Archives 2013 > 

Bhutan declares itself free of landmines


Download the press release |PDF180KB

نشرة إعلامية | PDF190KB

A selection of photos of Bhutan on Flickr

Geneva and ThimphuBhutan has become the latest state to declare that it has cleared all known anti-personnel mines in areas under its jurisdiction or control as required by the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention, which bans the use, stockpile, production and transfer of these weapons. Bhutan did so over two years before its February 2016 deadline.

The announcement was made by the Bhutanese delegation at the Convention’s Thirteenth Meeting of the States Parties, which is taking place this week in Geneva. 

“It is therefore my privilege and honour to inform this gathering that in accordance with Article 5 of the Convention, Bhutan has cleared all the anti-personnel mines that were laid in its territory,” said the head of the Bhutanese delegation.

“Bhutan places high importance on the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention as a framework to find a lasting solution to the humanitarian and socio-economic problems caused by land mines.”

Bhutan began clearing mine fields even before joining the Convention. In 2005, Bhutan’s armed forces cleared a 30,000 square metre minefield in Zhemgang District. In addition, in 2010, Bhutan continued mine clearance in the Samdrup Jongkhar District. These lands were subsequently declared fit for normal human activity.

“I commend Bhutan for having fulfilled its mine clearance obligation and for doing so almost two years ahead of schedule,” said the Director of the Convention’s Implementation Support Unit, Kerry Brinkert. “Bhutan serves as an inspiration that a mine-free world is indeed within reach.”

Bhutan is the 25th State Party to the Convention that has declared that it has completed implementation of its mine clearance obligation under the Convention. The vast majority of States once affected by anti-personnel mines have joined the Convention and almost half of these have now indicated that they have cleared all known mined areas.

Delegate of Bhutan to the Meetings of Standing Committees

The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention was adopted in Oslo in 1997, opened for signature in Ottawa the same year and entered into force on 1 March 1999. 

Since entering into force, millions of square metres of once dangerous lands have been released for normal human activity and over 44.5 million stockpiled mines have been destroyed.

For press inquiries, contact: Laila Rodriguez press(at)apminebanconvention.org or +41 (0) 22 906 1656. Find the Convention on FacebookFlickr and Twitter.