Mr. President,

The upcoming Fourth Review Conference will herald progress toward the goal of a mine free 2025. Since the Third Review Conference in 2014, 6 additional states have declared completion of stockpile destruction, bringing the total number to 93, who have collectively destroyed more than 54 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines, including more than 300,000 destroyed in 2018. Since the Treaty entered into force, another 67 states have declared they never possessed antipersonnel mines. Only three States Parties - Greece, Ukraine, and Sri Lanka - still have stockpiles to destroy.                                        

Greece and Ukraine remain in violation of Article 4 after failing to complete stockpile destruction by their four-year deadline. Though Greece has kept States Parties updated on its progress, neither state has indicated when its destruction obligations will be completed.

Tuvalu remains the sole State Party to have yet to submit its initial transparency report, but it is not thought to possess antipersonnel mines.

In the global context, however, there is significant room for progress. A majority of the 33 states not party to the treaty currently stockpile antipersonnel landmines. Additionally, the problem of non-state actor groups possessing antipersonnel mines or components to manufacture improvised mines pose challenges in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen.

Finally, we would like to update States Parties on the status of the quantities of mines retained for training and research. A total of 71 States Parties have reported that they retain antipersonnel mines for training and research purposes, of which 3 states – Finland, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka – collectively possess nearly 50,000 retained mines, in addition to 36 states who retain more than 1,000 mines each. A number of states that stockpile mines under Article 3 do not ever use them for permitted purposes.  These states are, in effect, violating the nature of the exception, as they essentially are stockpiling the mines.