United Nations

A/RES/51/149


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

4 February 1997

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



Fifty-first session
Agenda item 34


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

         [without reference to a Main Committee (A/51/L.44 and Add.1)]


                     51/149.  Assistance in mine clearance


      The General Assembly,

      Recalling its resolutions 48/7 of 19 October 1993, 49/215 of
23 December 1994 and 50/82 of 14 December 1995 on assistance in mine
clearance, all 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 resolutions
1995/79 of 8 March 1995 1/ and 1996/85 of 24 April 1996 2/ on the
rights of the child and 1996/27 of 19 April 1996 2/ on the human rights
of persons with disability, and noting the recent report on the impact
of armed conflict on children 3/ prepared by the expert of the
Secretary-General,

      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,

      Noting the recent decisions taken at the Review Conference of the
States Parties to 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, 4/
particularly with respect to Protocol II of the Convention and the
inclusion in the Amended Protocol 5/ of a number of provisions of
importance for mine-clearance operations, notably the requirement of
detectability,

      Noting also the adoption at the Ottawa International Strategy
Conference, "Towards a Global Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines", on
5 October 1996,  of the Ottawa Declaration, 6/ whereby participants
undertook a commitment towards the earliest possible conclusion of a
legally binding international agreement to ban anti-personnel mines
and which, among other things, recognizes that the international
community must provide significantly greater resources to mine-
awareness programmes, mine-clearance operations and victim assistance,
and stressing the need to convince mine-affected States to halt new
deployments of anti-personnel mines to ensure the effectiveness and
efficiency of mine-clearance operations, and noting the offer by the
Government of Belgium to host a follow-up conference at Brussels in
June 1997,

      Welcoming the offer by the Government of Japan to hold at Tokyo a 
conference on anti-personnel landmines in March 1997 with a view to
reinforcing international support for the work of the United Nations
in landmine clearance, development of new technology for landmine
detection and removal and the rehabilitation of landmine victims,

      Emphasizing the importance of recording the location of mines, of
retaining all such records and making them available to concerned
parties upon cessation of hostilities, and welcoming the strengthening
of the relevant provisions in international law,

      Recognizing the important role that the international community,
particularly States involved in the deployment of mines, can play in
assisting mine clearance in affected countries through the provision
of necessary maps and information and appropriate technical and
material assistance to remove or otherwise render ineffective existing
minefields, mines and booby-traps,

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

      Aware that the rate of mine clearance needs to accelerate
substantially if the global landmine problem is to be tackled
effectively,

      Concerned about the limited availability of safe and cost-
effective mine-detection and mine-clearance equipment as well as the
lack of global coordination in research and development to improve the
relevant technology, and conscious of the need to promote progress in
this field and to foster international technical cooperation to this
end,

      Encouraged by the initiative taken by the Government of Denmark
in hosting and organizing the International Conference on Mine
Clearance Technology at Elsinore from 2 to 4 July 1996 7/ with the
support and cooperation of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs of
the Secretariat and by the work of the Conference, notably in relation
to international standards and procedures for humanitarian mine-
clearance operations, which can serve as a basis on which to advance
the safety, effectiveness and professionalism of these operations
throughout the world,

      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
peacekeeping operations of provisions relating to mine-clearance work
carried out under the direction of the Department of Peacekeeping
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, in increasing public
awareness of the problem of landmines, and in the establishment of the
central landmine database and inventories of mine-awareness materials
and mine-clearance techniques,

      Welcoming the statement by the President of the Security Council
at the 3693rd meeting of the Council, on 30 August 1996, on demining
in the context of United Nations peacekeeping, 8/

      1.    Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his
comprehensive report on the activities of the United Nations on
assistance in mine clearance and the operation of the Voluntary Trust
Fund for Assistance in Mine Clearance, 9/ 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 mine-clearance capacities in
countries where mines constitute a serious threat to the safety,
health and lives of the local population, and emphasizing the
importance of developing national mine-clearance capacities, 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.    Invites Member States to develop national programmes, in
cooperation with the relevant bodies of the United Nations system
where appropriate, to promote awareness of landmines, especially among
children;

      4.    Expresses its appreciation to Member States and regional
organizations for their financial contributions to the Trust Fund, and
appeals to them to continue this support through further
contributions;

      5.    Encourages 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.    Stresses the importance of international assistance for the
rehabilitation of landmine victims and their full participation in
society;

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

      8.    Welcomes the efforts of the Department of Humanitarian
Affairs 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 with a view to
improving the effectiveness of assistance in mine clearance by the
United Nations;

      9.    Also welcomes the designation of the Department of
Humanitarian Affairs, the focal point in the United Nations for
coordinating humanitarian demining and related issues, as the
repository of information and for encouraging and facilitating
international research to improve mine-clearance methods;

      10.   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 that 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;

      11.   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;

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

      13.   Encourages Member States and intergovernmental and
non-governmental organizations and foundations to continue to support
ongoing activities to promote appropriate technology, as well as
international operational and safety standards for humanitarian mine-
clearance activities, including the early follow-up of the
International Conference on Mine Clearance Technology; 7/

      14.   Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General
Assembly at its fifty-second session a report on the progress achieved
on all relevant issues outlined in his previous reports to the
Assembly on assistance in mine clearance and in the present resolution
and on the operation of the Trust Fund;

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

                                                          84th plenary meeting
                                                              13 December 1996


                                     Notes

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 Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1996,
Supplement No. 3 (E/1996/23).

3/    A/51/306 and Add.1.

4/    CCW/CONF.I/16 (Part I).

5/    Ibid., annex B.

6/    A/C.1/51/10, annex I.

7/    See A/51/472, annex.

8/    Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-first Year,
Resolutions and Decisions of the Security Council, 1996, document
S/PRST/1996/37.

9/    A/51/540.

 

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