United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

2 February 1996


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 46


     [without reference to a Main Committee (A/50/L.57 and Add.1)]

                 50/82.  Assistance in mine clearance

     The General Assembly,

     Recalling its resolutions 48/7 of 19 October 1993 and 49/215 of
23 December 1994 on assistance in mine clearance, both adopted without
a vote,

     Reaffirming its deep concern at the tremendous humanitarian
problem caused by the presence of mines and other unexploded devices
that have serious and lasting social and economic consequences for the
populations of mine-infested countries and constitute an obstacle to
the return of refugees and other displaced persons, to humanitarian
aid operations and to reconstruction and economic development, as well
as to the restoration of normal social conditions,

     Reiterating its dismay at the high number of victims of mines,
especially among civilian populations, particularly children, and
recalling in this context Commission on Human Rights resolution
1995/79 of 8 March 1995 on the rights of the child,  1/

     Deeply alarmed that the number of mines being laid each year, as
well as the presence of a large number of mines and other unexploded
devices as a result of armed conflicts, exponentially outweighs the
number of such mines that can be cleared during that time, and thus
convinced of the necessity and urgency of a significant increase in
mine-clearance efforts by the international community,

     Recognizing the importance of recording the location of mines and
of retaining all such records and making them available to concerned
parties upon cessation of hostilities, in accordance with
international law,

     Bearing in mind the serious threat that mines and other
unexploded devices pose to the safety, health and lives of personnel
participating in humanitarian, peace-keeping and rehabilitation
programmes and operations,

     Conscious of the limited availability of safe and cost-effective
mine-clearance techniques, and the need for improvements thereof, and
of the lack of global coordination in the field of research to improve
mine-clearance technology and the urgent need to foster international
technical cooperation in this field,

     Aware that the rate of mine clearance needs to improve
substantially if the global land-mine problem is to be tackled

     Recalling its resolution 50/74 of 12 December 1995 on the
Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain
Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious
or to Have Indiscriminate Effects  2/ and the convening by the
Secretary-General of the Review Conference of the States Parties to
that Convention at Vienna from 25 September to 13 October 1995, taking
note, in this regard, of the decision of the Review Conference to
continue its work in order to conclude negotiations on the
strengthening of the Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the
Use of Mines, Booby Traps and Other Devices (Protocol II), 2/ and
welcoming in this regard the additional ratifications of or accessions
to the Convention,

     Recalling also its resolutions 48/75 K of 16 December 1993, 49/75
D of 15 December 1994 and 50/70 O of 12 December 1995 calling for a
moratorium on the export of anti-personnel land-mines, and welcoming
in this regard the export moratorium adopted by several States,

     Bearing in mind that significant progress needs to be achieved in
these fields,

     Recognizing that, in addition to the primary role of States, the
United Nations has an important role in the field of assistance in
mine clearance,

     Noting with satisfaction the inclusion in the mandates of several
peace-keeping operations of provisions relating to mine-clearance work
carried out under the direction of the Department of Peace-keeping
Operations of the Secretariat in the context of such operations,

     Commending the activities already undertaken by the United
Nations system, donor and recipient Governments, the International
Committee of the Red Cross and non-governmental organizations to
coordinate their efforts and seek solutions to the problems related to
the presence of mines and other unexploded devices,

     Also commending the role of the Secretary-General, through the
work of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs of the Secretariat, in
increasing public awareness of the problem of land-mines and for the
establishment of the Central Land-Mine Database and its inventories of
mine-awareness materials and mine-clearance techniques,

     Commending in particular the outcome of the International Meeting
on Mine Clearance held at Geneva from 5 to 7 July 1995, in which
notable financial pledges were gathered for the Voluntary Trust Fund
for Assistance in Mine Clearance and for the development of a de-
mining standby capacity by the United Nations,

     1.   Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his
comprehensive report of 6 September 1995 on the activities of the
United Nations in providing assistance in mine clearance and on the
operation of the Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine
Clearance,  3/ and takes note with interest of the proposals
contained therein;

     2.   Welcomes, in particular, the efforts made by the United
Nations to foster the establishment of national mine-clearance
capacities in countries where mines constitute a serious threat to the
safety, health and lives of the local population, and urges all Member
States, particularly those that have a capacity to do so, to assist
afflicted countries in the establishment and development of their
national mine-clearance capacities;

     3.   Expresses its appreciation to Member States, United Nations
organizations and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations
that participated in the International Meeting on Mine Clearance for
their strong expression of cooperation in the field of assistance in
mine clearance, and particularly to States and regional organizations
for their financial contributions to the Voluntary Trust Fund as well
as for providing the necessary means to establish a de-mining standby
capacity within the United Nations;

     4.   Appeals to Member States as well as to intergovernmental
organizations and foundations to continue to contribute to the
Voluntary Trust Fund and to continue to supply the necessary means to
the United Nations to foster its de-mining standby capacity;
     5.   Invites all relevant multilateral and national programmes
and bodies to include, in coordination with the United Nations,
activities related to mine clearance in their humanitarian, social and
economic assistance activities;

     6.   Emphasizes again, in this connection, the importance of
coordination by the United Nations of activities related to mine
clearance, including those by regional organizations, in particular
activities related to information and training;

     7.   Welcomes the efforts of the Department of Humanitarian
Affairs of the Secretariat to coordinate mine-related activities and,
in particular, the establishment, in cooperation with other relevant
United Nations organizations, of comprehensive mine-action programmes,
and encourages the Department to continue and enhance those efforts
within existing resources with a view to improving the effectiveness
of assistance in mine clearance by the United Nations;

     8.   Calls upon the Secretary-General to designate the Department
of Humanitarian Affairs, the focal point in the United Nations for
coordinating de-mining and related issues, as the repository of
information and for encouraging and facilitating international
research to improve mine-clearance methods;

     9.   Urges Member States, regional organizations, governmental
and non-governmental organizations and foundations to continue to
extend full assistance and cooperation to the Secretary-General and,
in particular, to provide him with information and data as well as
other appropriate resources which could be useful in strengthening the
coordination role of the United Nations in the field of mine
awareness, training, surveying, mine detection and clearance,
scientific research on mine detection and clearance technology, and
information on and distribution of medical equipment and supplies;

     10.  Calls upon Member States, especially those that have a
capacity to do so, to provide the necessary information and technical
and material assistance, as appropriate, and to locate, remove,
destroy or otherwise render ineffective minefields, mines, booby traps
and other devices, in accordance with international law;

     11.  Urges Member States, intergovernmental organizations and
non-governmental organizations and foundations that have the ability
to do so to provide, as appropriate, technological assistance to mine-
afflicted countries as well as to promote scientific research and
development on humanitarian mine-clearance techniques and technology
so that mine-clearance activities may be more effectively carried out
at lower cost and through safer means, and to promote international
collaboration in this regard;

     12.  Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General
Assembly at its fifty-first session a report on the progress achieved
on all relevant issues outlined in his reports to the Assembly at its
forty-ninth  4/ and fiftieth 3/ sessions on assistance in mine
clearance and on the operation of the Voluntary Trust Fund;

     13.  Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-
first session the item entitled "Assistance in mine clearance".

                                             92nd plenary meeting
                                                 14 December 1995


1/   See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council,
1995, Supplement No. 3 and corrigenda (E/1995/23 and Corr.1 and 2),
chap. II, sect. A.

2/   See The United Nations Disarmament Yearbook, vol. 5:  1980
(United Nations publication, Sales No. E.81.IX.4), appendix VII.

3/   A/50/408.

4/   A/49/357 and Add.1 and 2.


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Date last posted: 15 January 2000 16:15:30
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