Landmines: five years after the Mine Ban Treaty

More than 34 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines have been destroyed by 61 states, including seven million in the past year, according to a global report released today by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL).

“Five years after the Mine Ban Treaty was negotiated in Oslo and first signed in Ottawa, it is clear that the world is embracing a new international norm rejecting the antipersonnel mine,” said ICBL Ambassador Jody Williams, who shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize with the ICBL.

According to the report, the export of antipersonnel landmines has nearly ceased, the number of countries producing the weapon has decreased from 55 to 14, mine action programs have expanded, there are fewer new mine casualties than in the past, and use of antipersonnel mines has fallen off.

“Perhaps the most encouraging development noted in this report is the decrease in the number of governments and rebel groups using antipersonnel mines,” said Williams. Nine governments were reported to have used antipersonnel mines in the reporting period (since May 2001), compared to at least 13 governments in the previous year. And two of the nine governments, Angola and Sri Lanka, stopped use in 2002 with cease-fires and have not resumed.

Eight countries became States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty since the last annual report, including three that have recently used antipersonnel mines but now spurn the weapon--Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Eritrea—as well as regional leaders Nigeria and Chile. There are 125 States Parties to the treaty, and another 18 countries have signed but not yet ratified. More than a dozen governments have pledged to join in the near future, including Afghanistan, Greece, Indonesia, Turkey, and Yugoslavia.

Read the full ICBL press release

See the Landmine Monitor Report 2002

Choike in-depth report on landmines

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