Geneva, 24 May 2019 – Over 300 delegates representing 80 States and over 30 international and non-governmental organisations including those representing the rights of landmine victims, have concluded three days of meetings seeking to ascertain progress made in the international ban, clearance and destruction of anti-personnel mines and assistance to mine victims under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention.
The meetings are held under the presidency of Norway, one of the world’s five top supporters for mine action and long-time leader and advocate in the fight against these weapons.
“The Intersessional Meetings have been an important step on the road to the Oslo Review Conference. We will now continue our work to develop a new action plan for the next five years,” said the Convention President H.E. Hans Brattskar Ambassador of Norway to the UN in Geneva.
“We have taken stock of progress in all parts of mine action since our last meeting. We have also gained valuable input from national authorities, international organisations and civil society on Oslo Action Plan priorities. We look forward to continuing our dialogue and consultations with all stakeholders as we develop the new action plan,” said the Ambassador.
Five countries request additional time to clear mine-contaminated areas
A decision on their requests will be taken by the States Parties during the Oslo Review Conference on a Mine-Free World in Norway, from 25-28 November.
Yemen has anticipated that due to the circumstances it faces, including new contamination of anti-personnel mines of an improvised nature, it will need yet an additional extension. Yemen was on track to meet its deadline when it faced new contamination.
Ecuador, which carries out mine clearance financed entirely by the government, has expressed that it will require international support if it is to meet its 2022 mine-free deadline. Ecuador is appealing for five (5) million dollars to finalise addressing 80,238 m2 that contain more than 3,200 anti-personnel mines.
Chile has indicated that it will destroy the last of its anti-personnel mines it had kept for training purposes in the coming months and that it is on track to meet its 1 March 2020 mine-free deadline.
Greece announced that between 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, it had demilitarised more than 295,000 anti-personnel mines, thus speeding up the destruction process which had suffered previous delays.
Ukraine has destroyed nearly three million anti‐personnel mines in a span of two years. As of 1 May 2019, almost 2.5 million PFM‐1 mines were destroyed, 111,000 POM‐2 anti‐personnel mines are scheduled to be disposed of by the end of this year. This work is being carried out within the framework of Implementing Agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers and NATO’s Maintenance and Supply Organization (NAMSO), noted Ukraine. Ukraine must still destroy another 3.3 million mines to meet its Convention obligation. This is a significant step, especially due to the sizeable stock and type of landmines Ukraine still has to destroy some of which are extremely hazardous and pose serious technical difficulties.
161 States Parties have declared no longer having stockpile destruction obligations. Together the parties have destroyed nearly 53 million anti-personnel mines.
Adoption of the Convention and its norms
The Republic of Korea attended a meeting of the Convention for the first time and while it indicated that it would not join for the time foreseen, it said that demining activities in the DMZ are ongoing as part of the Agreement in the Military Domain of the 2018 Pyongyang Joint Declaration with North Korea.
Other States not party attending included Lao PDR, Morocco, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia and the United States of America.
For more information, contact the Convention's Implementation Support Unit, isu(at)apminebanconvention.org