MORE THAN 130 COUNTRIES AGREE TO STEP UP LANDMINE ACTION
Geneva, 16-20 September

States Parties to the (Ottawa) Convention banning anti-personnel landmines have confirmed their commitment to take strong action to fulfil the humanitarian aims of the landmark international treaty.

“Together we have achieved a great deal in implementing the Convention and promoting its universal acceptance.  However, between now and the Convention’s first Review Conference in 2004, additional efforts will be required to ensure that the Convention lives up to its humanitarian promise”, said Ambassador Jean Lint of Belgium, President of the Fourth Meeting of the States Parties which concluded tDDAy.

The Fourth Meeting took stock of success in a number of key areas.  By the close of the meeting, 128 States had acceded to the Convention—a remarkable achievement given that the Convention is a little more than five years old. In addition, it was reported that the States parties have destroyed more than 27 million stockpiled anti-personnel mines.

The Meeting took equal note of the challenges that remain. “With important deadlines approaching for the destruction of stockpiled mines and mine clearance, we must redouble our efforts to ensure full implementation of this important humanitarian instrument”, said Mr. Lint. “In this regard, I am particularly pleased that relevant actors have agreed to be steadfast in ensuring that by the Review Conference a significant renewal of our collective commitment is made to finish the job of eliminating anti-personnel mines.”

“I am also heartened that States Parties have agreed to urge armed, non-State actors to cease and renounce the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines”, he said, noting that an increasing number of conflicts are taking place within—rather than between—States.

More than 700 delegates from 130 States and dozens of international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) took part in the Convention’s fourth annual meeting.