Ottawa Treaty: Wikis

  
  

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Ottawa Treaty
(Mine Ban Treaty)
Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction
Ottawa Treaty members.svg
     State Parties to the Ottawa Treaty
Signed
Location
3 December 1997
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Effective
Condition
1 March 1999
Ratifications by 40 states
Signatories 133
Parties 156 (Complete List)
Depositary Secretary-General of the United Nations

The Ottawa Treaty or the Mine Ban Treaty, formally the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, completely bans all anti-personnel landmines (AP-mines). As of May 2009, there were 156 States Parties to the treaty. Two states have signed but not yet ratified while thirty-seven states are not party to the Convention. In 2009, Rwanda became the first nation claimed to be landmine free.

Contents

Implementation of the treaty

Besides stopping the production and development of anti-personnel mines, a party to the treaty must destroy all the anti-personnel mines in its possession within four years. Just a small number of mines is allowed to remain for training (mine-clearance, -detection, etc.). Within ten years after signing the treaty, the country should have cleared all of its mined areas. This is a difficult task for many countries, but at the annual meetings (see below) they may request an extension (and help).

Only anti-personnel mines are covered. Mixed mines, anti-tank mines, remote controlled claymore mines, anti-handling devices (booby-traps) and other "static" explosive devices against people are not within the treaty.

Destruction of stockpiles

According to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) report for May 2006, several countries declared stockpiles totalling over 160 million landmines, of which more than 39.5 million have been destroyed so far by State Parties. 74 countries have completed the destruction of their stockpiles, and another 64 countries have declared that they did not possess stockpiles to destroy.[1]

Landmine-free countries

On 2 December 2009, Rwanda became the first country to be declared free of landmines.[2] The announcement was made at the Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World in Colombia. It follows a three year campaign by 180 Rwandan soldiers, supervised by the Mine Awareness Trust and trained in Kenya, to remove over 9,000 mines laid in the country between 1990 and 1994.[2] The soldiers checked and cleared 1.3 million square metres (1.3 square km) of land in twenty minefields.[2] The official Cartagena Summit came after the Rwandan Ministry of Defence's own announcement of the completion of the demining process on 29 November 2009.[3] Under article 5 of the Ottawa Treaty, Rwanda was requested to become mine-free by 1 December 2010.[3]

Signatories

There were originally 855,000 signatories of the petition launched by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines in 1997; when the Convention was opened for signature, it was signed by 133 countries; as of 10 May 2009, there were 156 States Parties to the Treaty.[4] Thirty-seven countries have not signed the treaty. There is a clause in the treaty, Article 3, which permits countries to retain landmines for use in training or development of countermeasures. 64 countries have taken this option. In total 289,000 mines have been declared as retained by various countries under Article 3. A further 23 countries have not declared a figure.[citation needed]

The list of about three dozen states that have not signed the treaty includes a majority of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (People's Republic of China, the United States and Russia), India, and both Koreas, where use of landmines remain common in the Demilitarized Zone.[5]

Review Conferences of the Convention

  • First Review Conference: 29 November – 3 December 2004, Nairobi, Kenya: Nairobi Summit on a Mine Free World.[6]
  • Second Review Conference: 29 November – 4 December 2009, Cartagena, Colombia: Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World.[7]

Annual meetings

Annual meetings of the treaty member states are held at different locations around the world. These meetings provide a forum to report on what has been accomplished, indicate where additional work is needed and seek any assistance they may require.

Participants in the formation process

Diana, Princess of Wales

The Ottawa Treaty was championed by Diana, Princess of Wales. She visited Angola in January 1997, and walked through a minefield twice. In January 1997, Angola's population was approximately 10 million and had about 10–20 million land mines in place from their civil war.[19] In August 1997, she visited Bosnia with the Landmine Survivors Network. Her work with landmines focused mostly on the injuries caused by them, particularly to children.

When the Second Reading of the Landmines Bill took place in 1998 in the British House of Commons, Foreign Secretary Robin Cook praised and paid tribute to Diana's work on landmines:

All honourable Members will be aware from their postbags of the immense contribution made by Diana, Princess of Wales to bringing home to many of our constituents the human costs of landmines. The best way in which to record our appreciation of her work, and the work of NGOs that have campaigned against landmines, is to pass the Bill, and to pave the way towards a global ban on landmines.[20]

Lloyd Axworthy

In his Canadian Foreign Affairs portfolio (1996–2000), Lloyd Axworthy became internationally known for his advancement of the human security concept, in particular, the Ottawa Treaty. For his leadership on landmines, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (1997).[21][22]

See also

References

External links








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