HOME > Ottawa Process > 


In 2017 the Convention turned 20!

Two decades of partnership between governments and civil society to
“end the suffering caused by anti-personnel mines”

After several regional conferences and a worldwide campaign to bring awareness and support for a comprehensive humanitarian ban, negotiation began on 1 September 1997 in Oslo.

On 18 September, over 90 States agreed to adopt the Convention.

A little more than two months later, in December 1997, the so-called Ottawa Process culminated in the gathering of 122 States in the Canadian capital, for the signing the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention

To date, membership has grown to 162 countries undertaking to “never, under any circumstances, use anti-personnel mines;  develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, antipersonnel mines; assist, encourage or induce, in any way, anyone to engage in any [prohibited] activity.”

According to those close to the process, this was “an extraordinary accomplishment by almost any measure of what is considered to be success within international diplomacy.”

The Ottawa Process was a “bold gamble” that paid off largely as a result of the advocacy work of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the International Committee of the Red Cross working in partnership with a core group of States that were equally committed to a ban on anti-personnel mines.

The Ottawa Process

In addition to a variety of regional conferences and mine action forums that took place in 1997 all over the world, the Process featured the following events of great significance:

The Convention was opened for signature by States in Ottawa on 3-4 December 1997. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, pictured here, was one of 122 high level representatives that signed the Convention during that two day period.

By signing the Convention States indicated their agreement with the Convention’s object and purpose and an intention to ratify the Convention.