The entities contributing to the appendices of this report do not necessarily endorse the rest of the Landmine Monitor Report and they are in no way responsible for other material contained in this report. Likewise, Landmine Monitor does not necessarily endorse, nor does it take responsibility for the accuracy of, material included in the appendices.
Government of Austria
Austrian initiatives and activities
First of all Austria congratulates the ICBL on the First Landmine Monitor Annual Report. It is impressive to see such a comprehensive report to be elaborated in such a short amount of time.
With the entry into force of the Ottawa Convention on 1 March 1999, its full and effective implementation is one of our priority foreign policy objectives. Already when Austria formulated the draft for the Convention, we were convinced that transparency and openness were essential to promote compliance. As a result Article 7 stipulates very clear and specific reporting obligations for states parties. Those reports will be considered by the Meetings of the States Parties. They will also provide us with a benchmark for progress in ridding the world from anti-personnel mines. Moreover, they will contain invaluable information for mine action, information that in our view should be retrievable by all interested actors in mine action. Therefore Austria hopes it will be possible to decide so at the First Meeting of States Parties.
As in other foreign policy fields dealing with human security, an independent assessment provided by NGOs constitutes an interesting complementary source of information. Governments and media alike will read Landmine Monitor against the background of official statements and draw their conclusions. Since Austria attaches particular importance to implementation, transparency and openness, a financial contribution was given to the Landmine Monitor project.
The fruitful partnership between governments and NGOs was a hallmark of the Ottawa Process. In our view, it will be even more so in the implementation of the Convention. Mine action in the field is mostly done by NGOs and international agencies. Their activities are funded primarily by governments. Consequently, Austria advocates that international coordination and cooperation efforts should not limit themselves to states and international organizations, but should include NGOs on all relevant issues. Our approach implies increased coordination and cooperation also among NGOs active in mine action. The preparation of a common portfolio on projects by HI, MAG and NPA was a welcome first step.
Currently the Austrian government is funding mine action projects in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Mozambique and Namibia. But sustainable political and financial support for mine action has to be buttressed not only by officials, but by the public as such. On the basis of an initiative of Austria's Foreign Minister Wolfgang Schüssel, the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ran a fundraising drive for mine victims in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Cambodia in 1998. In addition to the substantial sum that was raised, Austrians were confronted for months daily with the plight of mine victims in radio, TV and print media. Even a year afterwards the lasting impact can be seen in increased media coverage on mine related matters.
Advocacy has to remain in the forefront. Advocacy with regard to media and the broad public on one hand, and on the other hand aimed at speeding up universalization. The rapid entry into force and the impressive numbers of both ratifyers and signatory states can only serve as an encouragement to work for universalization on political level as well as expert level. In those talks Austria has encountered a lot of interest among some non-signatory states, but also the need to work together with them in order to resolve their problemskeeping them from signing. The Austrian armed forces have reached out to their counterparts in a number of countries providing them with expertise on questions of military doctrine as well as technical issues such as cost-effective and environmentally safe stockpile destruction.
The Convention offers a comprehensive framework that should be used to achieve more coherent and focused international cooperation in mine action. Together we can fulfill the promise of the Convention - a world without the dangers of anti-personnel mines. Austria is looking forward to make its contribution.
Government of Belgium
I am particularly pleased to have been asked to contribute to the first Annual Report of the International Observatory. The ban of anti-personnel mines is indeed a cause defended by Governments and non-governmental organisations alike. That shared concern has characterised the entire negotiating process leading to the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines. At this stage, it is important to carry on in the same direction and effectively implement the Convention with a view to achieving a world-wide ban of anti-personnel landmines.
The co-operation between Governments and NGO's is again illustrated by the timing of this publication. This Report sets out to give a first general review of the global state of affairs even before the first Conference of the States party to the Treaty takes place. It will then be supplemented by the comments of the countries attending the Maputo Conference of the Party States next May and by their declarations later in 1999. The Treaty actually stipulates that six months after its entry into force, each Party State is to provide a review -based on a model negotiated between the Party States - of the way in which the Convention has been implemented on its territory. Consequently, the yearbook is a first 'stock taking exercise'.
Belgium supports the action of the International Observatory, in which non-governmental organisations use their knowledge of the situation on the ground and their experience to stimulate the international community to go further. In this, both Governments and non-governmental organisations obviously have to maintain their specific character and preserve their own style and autonomy.
For years now, I have been advocating a world-wide ban on anti-personnel mines. These weapons cause a humanitarian catastrophe and continue to be harmful years after a conflict has been ended. Mines are extremely easy to emplace, but their clearance is very expensive and time consuming. Destroying mines costs approximately 500 times more than manufacturing them.
Moreover, these devices often fundamentally hamper the normalisation process in "transition" countries, in which a peace process has recently been put on track. As a result, the agricultural sector, business and industry cannot function properly. Furthermore, the fear and the sense of insecurity and vulnerability caused by the presence of these mines have a devastating effect on the social and economic fabric and paralyse the dynamics of local communities in transition countries.
Anti-personnel mines have a deep impact on the daily life of the local population. In many cases, they prevent local people from safely returning to conflict zones and resume farming, which is a major source of economic development and self-sufficiency. Those whocontinue to work and live in these areas, despite a conflict going on, expose themselves as well as their children every day to the risk of being maimed. If that happens, they depend for the rest of their lives on a society only laboriously recovering after a stop has been put to a conflict. In situations like these, where the poorest and most vulnerable population groups such as children are the worst hit, the future of a country is seriously jeopardized.
In his Agenda for Peace of June 1992, the then UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali pointed out the large humanitarian and socio-economic problems caused by anti-personnel mines. The International Conference on Demining, which was held in Geneva in July 1995 and which I chaired, has stressed the need for political commitment and for sufficient financial means and equipment in order to tackle the problem effectively.
After this conference, the international community soon realised that the only real answer to these humanitarian preoccupations was a total ban of such devices. Belgium played a very active role in the international campaign to ban anti-personnel mines on a global scale. Our country continued on an international level what had already been achieved on the national level. Belgium was in fact the first country in the world to proclaim a ban de jure, by the Act of 9 March 1995 amended by the Act of 24 June 1996. With the exception of a small quantity of anti-personnel mines, all stocks have been destroyed since September 1997. The remainder will be used to train further Belgian experts to be deployed – as and when necessary – in other countries where mines are still a part of daily life.
In the context of this international campaign, Belgium has been active within the central group of countries of the Ottawa-process. This group advocated the conclusion of an international treaty. After the initial meeting in Ottawa, a series of conferences were organised in various countries, in the running-up to what is considered to be a genuine success, namely the signing of the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines. In June 1997, my country hosted one of these conferences. The Brussels Conference crystallised the necessary political will to establish a legally binding instrument in the short term and to organise a diplomatic conference which would start in Oslo in September 1997. As a result, the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines was drawn up; it was already open for signature on 3 and 4 December of that same year. Belgium signed the Convention on 3 December 1997 and deposited its instruments of ratification with the UN Secretariat in New York on 4 September 1998. Our country has thus been among the 40 first ratifying countries, the number required for the entry into force of the Convention.
I am therefore very pleased to note that the year 1999 is already marked by two major events, namely the entry into force of the Convention on 1 March 1999 and the convening by the UN Secretary-General of the first Party States Conference, in Maputo from 3 to 7 May. We hope that these events will have a stimulating effect on universalising the Convention. Its global adherence is an objective which I regularly refer to, as does my Ministry, in our contacts with colleagues from other countries.
However, universalization is not the only goal. The implementation of the Convention by those countries which already have acceded, is another necessary task. It has two aspects: on the one hand, the implementation of the specific provisions of the Convention regarding the national territory and on the other hand, the assistance to other countries, ranging from traditional demining and technical training programmes, to assistance to victims and educational programmes to make the population aware of the problem and teach them how to deal with mines. As I already mentioned before, some countries might have difficulties removing all mines from their territory, especially when they have just come out of aconflict. The Convention stipulates that, in that case, such a country can rely on assistance from other countries which are in a position to provide it. In this respect, it must be stressed that the responsibility for demining lies primarily with the infected country. That country has to develop, with international support if necessary, an autonomous local demining capacity. However, all international assistance has to be aimed at enabling this country to comply with the Ottawa Convention on a totally autonomous basis and as soon as possible.
Belgium has committed itself to achieving this aim and argued during the negotiations of the Ottawa Convention for adding a provision on humanitarian assistance. Both in 1997 and in 1998, our country made available an amount of more than BEF 100 million on top of its normal contribution to the EU common action. For 1999 too, funds have already been allocated, e.g. in favour of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund. As regards assistance, our country is guided in the first place by the Ottawa Convention, the Common Action, the EU Resolution and the UN policy. Belgium takes up the position that a country which asks for assistance actually subscribes to the Convention. As far as specific mine clearance is concerned, there is indeed no point in starting demining activities which are slow, dangerous and expensive, if mines are emplaced more quickly than they are cleared. In the case of humanitarian emergency situations, assistance to mine victims and mine awareness programmes, this principle can be departed from.
Belgium has built up an expertise in the area of demining and will continue to develop it. To that end, it also supports initiatives in the area of technical research and development with a view to speeding up demining activities. As you know, the Ottawa Convention stipulated a period of up to ten years as the term in which the ban has to be implemented. This is obviously not an absolute term and an extension may be granted to countries facing major problems on their territory. At this moment however, our main concern has to be to find a solution according to the schedule set by the Ottawa Convention and we should not let anything deter us.
Signed: Mr. Erik Derycke, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Belgium
Government Of Canada
CANADA'S COMMITMENT TO MINE ACTION
On December 3, 1997, 122 states joined Canada in signing the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction. That the Ottawa Convention was negotiated in less than one year and has entered into force faster than any disarmament convention ever negotiated is a testament to the determination of the citizens of the world to address the humanitarian crisis caused by landmines. The Ottawa Convention is a major achievement, but it just the beginning. In the words of Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Lloyd Axworthy, the “real test of success for the Ottawa Convention will be the degree to which it makes a difference in the lives of those who must live with the threat of landmines every day.”
Implementing the Ottawa Convention through Integrated Mine Action.
Canada believes that the Ottawa Convention provides an effective and legally binding framework for integrated mine action efforts to address the humanitarian impact of anti-personnel mines. Whereas in the past mine action was often viewed as being little more than mine clearance, there is a growing consensus that to be truly effective, mine action should be understood as an integrated continuum of a number of key activities including:
- advocacy in support of the ratification and universalization of the Ottawa Convention as well as efforts to monitor its implementation;
- mine awareness programs to reduce the number of new mine casualties;
- mine clearance and the return of cleared land to communities;
- providing assistance to landmine survivors;
- survey work and related efforts to collect information on the nature of
the landmine problem and measures progress in mine action;
- the destruction of stockpiled mines;
- research and development of improved mine action technologies; and,
- communications and outreach to ensure the political and financial
sustainability of mine action efforts over the long term.
With this mind, Canada has committed $100 million1 over 5 years to a "Canadian Landmine Fund" to support the full implementation of the Ottawa Convention through programs in the above activity areas. This Fund is jointly managed by four Canadian Government Departments: the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA); the Department of National Defence (DND); and, the Department of Industry. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 1999, Canada will have spend approximately $16 million of the $100 million Landmine Fund. Key accomplishments of the Canadian Landmine Fund are listed below.
Ratifying and Universalizing the Ottawa Convention and Monitoring its Implementation.
A total of 13 new countries have signed the Ottawa Convention since December 1997. As of 15 March, the Ottawa Convention has been signed/acceded to by 135 states and ratified by 67. Building upon the high degree of cooperation between governments and civil society organizations which supported the Ottawa Process, Canada has supported a number of initiatives to build political will in support of the ratification and universalization of the Ottawa Convention. For example, over the past year Canada has provided approximately $760,000 to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), Mines Action Canada and the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War to develop the capacities of civil society-based organizations to play an active and sustainable role in promoting the ratification and universalization of the anti-personnel mine ban.2 Canada has also provided approximately $300,000 to support advocacy activities in support of the Convention in a number of states including Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Georgia, Hungary, India, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, the United States and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Canada has provided $450,000 to the ICBL to support the Landmine Monitor -- an initiative to create a global civil society-based network to monitor and report on the implementation of the Ottawa Convention.
Country programs supporting mine awareness, mine clearance, surveys and victims assistance.
Over the past year, Canada has supported mine action programs in the following countries:
· $200,000 for survivor assistance initiatives in Afghanistan, including the provision of prosthetics and training in, and the provision of, rehabilitation services.
· $2.47 million demining activities and support to mine action centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
· $650,000 to mine action activities in Cambodia, including support for management training, Level 1 survey activities and survivor assistance initiatives.
· $100,000 to support the emerging Mine Action Centre in Chad.
· $100,000 to support the activities of Croatia’s mine action centre.
· $100,000 to support mine clearance activities along the border between Ecuador and Peru.
· $500,000 for survivor assistance and reintegration in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua as part of a 5-year, $3.5 million commitment. In addition, Canada has provided approximately $100,000 for survivor assistance and reintegration in Guatemala.
· $300,000 for mine action activities in Jordan.
· $250,000 for mine awareness in Laos.
· $650,000 for mine action activities in Mozambique, including support for Level 1 survey and mapping activities and funds to match those committed by the Canadian Auto Workers Union for integrated mined action.
· $1.3 million for mine action activities in Yemen, including support for a Level 1 survey, the purchase of demining equipment and the rehabilitation of mine affected communities.
Survey work and efforts to collect information on the nature of the landmine problem and measure the progress of mine action efforts.
Canada has provided $900,000 to the United Nations Mine Action Service to support assessment missions and level one surveys to collect detailed information on the nature of the landmine problem.
Canada has provided $120,000 to the (Canadian) International Development Research Centre to develop tools and methodologies to monitor mine action progress in southern Africa. In addition, Canada has provided $10,000 to Handicap International to initiate the publication of a technical magazine on best practices in mine action.
Destruction of stockpiled mines.
Canada has disbursed approximately $750,000 to provide technical and financial aid to permit the destruction of existing stockpiled mines. Successes of this initiative include the October 1998 agreement between Canada and Ukraine that will see Ukraine destroy millions of stockpiled mines in exchange for Canadian technical and financial assistance.
Research and development of improved mine action technologies.
Canada had disbursed approximately $1.4 million to establish, and begin operations at, the Canadian Centre for Mine Action Technologies, an initiative designed to develop more effective, efficient and appropriate demining equipment and methods.
Communications and outreach to ensure the political and financial sustainability of mine action efforts over the long term.
Canada has disbursed approximately $880,000 to promote awareness of the anti-personnel mine ban and to create sustainability mechanisms to ensure ongoing support for Canadian mine action activities, including:
· Development and distribution of a CD-Rom, Ban Landmines!: The Ottawa Process and the International Movement to Ban Landmines (winner of a gold medal award from the International Television and Video Association for excellence in multimedia); broadcast documentary, One Step at a Time* available in French, English, Spanish and Russian; video, In Years not Decades* available presently in French and English and soon in Arabic.* (both winners of an ITVA silver award for excellence in instructional programming)
· Development of SafeLane Website
· Quarterly newsletter distributed to NGOs, parliamentarians, missions and the public
· Information kits distributed to approximately 500 press and parliamentarians
· The Canadian Landmine Action Fund was launched in September 1998, to provide an opportunity for Canadian businesses and individuals to donate funds to mine clearance and victim assistance initiatives. The Fund is administered by DFAIT with the participation of Mines Action Canada.
· The Youth Mine Action Ambassador program was also launched in September, 1998 to promote youth awareness of the landmines issue and community activism across Canada. To date, 5 youth ambassadors have been appointed and are located in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and St. John.
Government of the Netherlands
This year the international community celebrates that one hundred years ago the First Peace Conference of the Hague took place. In the month opf May in The Hague, representatives of Governments and NGO's will again discuss the same theme as in the summer of 1899: Peace.
The Conference of 1899 negotiated the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes was. Two other results of the Conference are worth noting here. First, the mere meeting of 26 nations in conference and agreeing upon measures contributing to world peace set for the future. Second, the Conference also resulted in the The Hague Declaration concerning Expanding Bullets.
Central to the Convention was "the desire to decrease the evil of war as far as the military requirements allow". This assumption led to a general ban on weapons causing unnecessary harm and specifically the declaration concerning Expanding Bullets. The harm caused by expanding bullets is excessive and unnecessary to eliminate an opponent. In 1899 there was no need for an international campaign to ban these bullets.
Hundred years later, we needed an international campaign to ban another weapon that brings about enormous humanitarian suffering: the anti-personnel landmine. It causes unnecessary harm and works indiscriminately, killing combatants and many civilians. In contrast to other weapons, landmines do not keep silent when a conflict is over but continue to wreak havoc and cause medical, economic, environmental and development problems. The ICBL played a major role in the making of the Ottawa Treaty and was rightly awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. Now that the Treaty has entered into force, the fight is not over. Millions of landmines still prevent people from living the life they deserve and clearing these mines is a major task.
The annually Landmine Monitor report will be an effective instrument to keep the world aware of the continuing landmine-problem and force the international community to act.
Signed: Mr. Jozias van Aartsen, Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands
Government of Norway
The Landmine Problem
The global landmine crisis is man-made and the effects have reached almost epidemic proportions. The AP landmines represent a real and constant threat to people - to the safety and well being of the individual in many societies. The AP landmines deny people a means of livelihood. They deny people their human rights, not least the freedom of movement. In recent conflict situations AP landmines have been planted not only to kill and maim, but to drive minority groups or persons perceived to be enemies away from their homes and countries or particular areas. This tendency is part of the dramatic growth in attacks on civilian populations during armed conflicts. It represents a blatant breach of international humanitarian law and human rights.
The threat of AP landmines is especially serious for the most vulnerable members of society. The AP landmines have an effect, which extends beyond the wounds inflicted on the individual. They further impoverish and marginalise the poor.
--They traumatise the coping mechanisms of individuals and
--They seriously damage and completely paralyse whole communities.
--They block the delivery of humanitarian assistance and disrupt long-term development
--In short, they inflict wounds on society, as well as individuals. They are a threat to human security.
Mine action must be people-centred and an integrated part of processes of reconciliation, rehabilitation, reconstruction, economic and social development of war-torn societies.
Mine action is about giving people to live in an environment free from the physical, psychological and socio-economic threats posed by AP landmines, to live in freedom from fear.
The measure of success of mine action cannot be restricted to the number of mines that have been removed and destroyed. There is a need for better indicators to assess thelong-term impact of mine action. These should include information on; increased access to basic social services, afflicted areas transformed into productive land, numbers of refugees and displaced persons repatriated in safety and dignity and mine victims being reintegrated as productive members of society.
The Mine Ban Convention
The Mine Ban Convention has established an international norm supported by a vast majority of members of the United Nations. To this date, 68 states have ratified and 135 have signed the Mine Ban Convention – a record in the history of multilateral arms related agreements. Even for states not parties to the convention, the political price of not adhering to this norm has risen considerably. However, this encouraging development must not lead to complacency on our part.
The forming of a global coalition between many different players was one of the main reasons for the unprecedented progress leading to the Mine Ban Convention. The process was successful because it brought together a broad coalition of countries and organisations. It included mine-affected countries, humanitarian organisations, and non-governmental organisations active in the field of human rights, of refugee protection and assistance, of humanitarian programmes and individual victims.
Another important element behind the success of the Ottawa process was the comprehensive way the landmine issue was addressed. The objective was not a partial, but a truly total ban on AP landmines – with no exceptions or loopholes. Not only were the use, production and stockpiling of AP landmines addressed, but also the destruction and removal of those AP landmines, and equally important the economic and social rehabilitation of landmine victims.
The shared concern and cooperation between the different players gave the process the necessary political strength and credibility. Each player brought his particular expertise to the table. Working together, they managed to create a synergistic effect. Only states could sign a legally binding convention. However, organisations and networks like the ICRC and the ICBL had the tools, knowledge and the will to mobilise the public opinion.
The first meeting of States Parties is an opportunity for States Parties, signatory states, other interested states, humanitarian agencies and organisations to discuss forward-looking initiatives and measures to effectively implement the objectives of the Convention and thereby contribute to the new stage in the Mine Ban process: from campaigning to implementation. Convening the first meeting in Mozambique, a mine-affected country, is highly appropriate and recognises Africa’s crucial role in bringing about a total ban on anti-personnel landmines
Activities supported by Norway
Norway has been supporting mine action activities around the world for more than ten years – both through the UN system, international organisations such as ICRC and NGO`s like Norwegian People’s Aid, Handicap International and others. At the signing conferencein Ottawa in December 1997, Norway committed USD 120 million to mine action over a five-year period.
Government of the United Kingdom
Humanitarian Mine Action
UK Department of International Development
The Secretary of State for International Development signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, on behalf of the UK, in Ottawa on 3 December 1997. At the same time, she approved a new Humanitarian Mine Action Strategy enhancing DFID assistance for reducing the social and economic impact of landmines and other unexploded ordnance on developing countries. Implementation of this Strategy also contributes to a major component of DFID’s wider conflict reduction policy concerned with reducing the means for waging war.
To pursue this Strategy, DFID plans to double annual bilateral expenditure from just under £5 million in 1997/98 to £10 million in 2000/01 in support of the following four objectives:
· to promote the globalisation of the ban on anti-personnel landmines (APLs), and to help developing countries to implement their obligations under the Ottawa Convention;
· to undertake effective programmes of humanitarian mine action in poor countries, strengthening and expanding indigenous capacity where possible;
· to strengthen the international community’s capacity - and particularly that of international organisations - to provide a more coherent, timely and cost-effective response to the global challenge of landmines;
· to encourage technological innovation to meet humanitarian mine action needs, thus improving safety, effectiveness and efficiency.
To promote the globalisation of the ban on anti-personnel landmines (APLs), and to help developing countries to implement their obligations under the Ottawa Convention;
The British Government seeks the widest possible permanent ban on APLs. This is pursued in diplomatic fora such as the Conference on Disarmament and the Review Conferences on the UN Weaponry Convention. In addition, we recognise that the Ottawa Convention demands actions which require fairly sophisticated technical capacity and have significant associated costs. The Convention also asks signatory states to assist each other. Accordingly, DFID is keen to help poor countries to ratify the Convention and implement its terms.
The UK Parliament ratified the Ottawa Convention on 31 July 1998, as
the 29th country to do so.
DFID is supporting civil society actions to evaluate the implementation by
the international community of the Ottawa Convention.
DFID is willing to assist poor countries to:
ratify the Convention and implement the APL ban through providing technical assistance, for example, to develop national legislation or to create appropriate national institutional capacity;
undertake immediate implementation of requirements under the Convention, such as stockpile destruction.
We have contacted Governments in the affected countries to identify outstanding areas of need to improve targeting of DFID assistance. To discourage countries from staying outside the ban, support is also available for national and international campaign groups working to widen and implement the APL ban.
To undertake effective programmes of humanitarian mine action in poor countries, strengthening and expanding indigenous capacity where possible;
DFID aims to meet urgent humanitarian needs by reducing deaths and injuries and re-establishing productive livelihoods lost through mines pollution. It further aims, where possible, to support the development of national and local capacity to enable affected countries and communities to take on ownership of programmes and become better equipped to tackle the problem themselves. These general goals are pursued through individual country-level projects advancing specific objectives that depend on available opportunities and prevailing circumstances. Relevant factors include political will, the institutional framework, the level of conflict and insecurity, the urgency of humanitarian need, the social and economic case for investment in demining, and the feasibility of proposed interventions.
DFID-supported demining programmes seek to develop and make optimal use of local human and physical resources. Conversely, DFID does not support government programmes in countries that are unwilling to sign up to the Ottawa Convention and continue to use APLs; in these countries DFID support is limited to humanitarian mine clearance in designated areas to reduce the immediate threat of loss of life or injury, provided that the laying of new mines (‘remining’) is not taking place locally at the same time.
DFID support for humanitarian mine action in poor countries has concentrated on humanitarian mine clearance but has also included other aspects such as mines awareness and capacity building. Over the past year, we have supported programmes in a number of countries:
Afghanistan: £2 million has been provided to the United Nations demining programme for nation-wide use. An additional £500,000 was provided toHALO Trust to undertake demining in Kabul and the Shomali Valley using manual and mechanical techniques. Good progress was made, but expatriates had to be withdrawn in August 98 because of increased insecurity and Taliban-imposed constraints on assistance operations; local staff continue programmes as best they can. DFID will review the programme when the security situation permits.
Cambodia: £1.632 million has been provided through HALO Trust and the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) for demining and mine awareness in the north-west to reduce the risk to rural communities and facilitate the resettlement of returnees. Following a review in May 1998, the programme will be gradually refocused.
Georgia: £100,000 has been provided to HALO Trust to start clearance of unexploded ordnance (UXO) and to develop national capacity in Abkhazia. A review planned for early 1999 will consider extending the project.
Iraq: £740,000 has been provided through MAG for ongoing integrated demining/community awareness projects in both Kurdish sectors in northern Iraq. A review is planned for March 1999 subject to the security situation.
Laos: £530,000 has been provided to MAG and UXO Lao (which manages the national clearance programme) to support unexploded ordnance clearance linked to community-based rural development. The extension of activities is subject to planned technical trials and assessment.
Mozambique: £362,500 has been provided for HALO Trust‘s ongoing demining project in Zambezia province to make it safe from landmines and UXO for economic and social activities. A review in August 1998 recommended continued support until early 2001 (subject to confirmation).
Reviews were also undertaken in countries where there has been previous UK bilateral funding :
Angola: Funding under the bilateral programme ceased in 1996 as other donors came forward to support projects. A review in June 1998 identified potential approaches but detailed considerations are on hold following increased insecurity.
Bosnia: Projects were completed in 1997. Needs were reviewed in 1998 and the potential for joint funding with other major donors considered. Negotiations are continuing. Some assistance with mechanical inputs to speed up clearance has been given and other assistance is being considered.
DFID support will continue to be available for programmes in poor countries which will result in the following benefits:
· reduced civilian vulnerability through raising community awareness;
· reduced civilian casualties through the mapping and demarcation of mine fields and mines clearance;
· safer access to social facilities such as health centres and schools; for enabling the provision of humanitarian assistance; and for enabling displaced populations to return home or re-settle in safe areas;
· re-established or expanded productivity, for example through clearing transport and communication routes and agricultural land, especially where poor farmers and traders will benefit;
· increased indigenous humanitarian mine action capacity, for example, through encouraging governments to accept ownership of national demining programmes, building institutional capacity for policy, planning and programme management, and training de-miners and associated administrative staff;
· better and more widely applied standards of safety and performance compatible with UN guidelines (the current specification for cleared land is 99.6% clearance);
· the promotion of public-private sector partnerships to enhance investment in mines clearance;
· support, where appropriate in the absence of a recognised national government, for the UN as the co-ordinator of national demining actions.
As well as developing the effectivness of existing programmes, we are considering opportunities for contributing to humanitarian mine action in countries where we have not so far been active, provided conditions permit and the likely benefits make such an extension worthwhile. Currently prospects are being explored in seven new countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Central America but there are significant security and institutional constraints in many of them.
To strengthen the international community’s capacity - and particularly that of international organisations - to provide a more coherent, timely and cost-effective response to the global challenge of landmines;
The UK supports the UN’s lead role in co-ordinating humanitarian mine action policy and seeks to strengthen its capacity to function more effectively in this area. We encourage the development of common frameworks and standards to address mines issues, and urge all contributors to work towards a shared common approach in order to optimise the impact and efficiency of available resources. We also seek to influence international policy so that it is focused on appropriate programmes which will benefit poor mines-affected countries.
DFID has funded a study for UNMAS to provide strategic advice and assist it to function as the global focus for international demining activities. A useful start has been made and UNMAS has undertaken country surveys which seek to provide a more authoritative baseline for mine-polluted countries, consequent hazards in land use, and prioritisation of clearance tasks to be undertaken.
During the UK’s Presidency of the European Union in the first half of 1998, we sought to co-ordinate the position of member states; worked on more targeted discussions on EU mine action within the EU Working Group on Disarmament and Security (CODUN); and urged greater transparency and accountability of EC activities and the implementation of the EU Joint Mine Action Programme.
We shall continue to work with multilateral agencies, other donors and affected countries to promote the effective sharing and use of available resources for humanitarian mine action, to establish and promulgate standards for applicable technology, and to provide support for countries which wish to accede to the Ottawa Convention.
To encourage technological innovation to meet humanitarian mine action needs, thus improving safety, effectiveness and efficiency.
DFID aims to support initiatives which adapt existing technologies - including of military origin - to the specific needs of civilian mine clearance, so that the latter becomes safer, speedier, and more affordable from the perspective of developing countries.
We support the internationally agreed intention to create a “toolbox of techniques” so as to allow the most appropriate methods and machinery to be selected for each situation.
Through UNMAS we have contributed to the establishment of standards and measures which will help improve the quality and performance of mine clearance.
DFID has funded trials of prototype equipment, with the potential to increase efficiency and safety of demining, relevant to project requirements.
We shall build on our present support for technological development by investing in the three stages of the development of a “toolbox of techniques”. In doing so, we shall continue to work internationally - in the UN and elsewhere - to encourage common standards for safety and efficiency of clearance. The three stages are:
identifying problems amenable to technological solutions and hence the gaps in existing techniques and technology;
appraising potentially valuable concepts and early designs, and funding their development to full prototype standard;
testing prototypes in simulated field conditions and, if successful, in real minefields.
THE FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) initially led UK government policy on humanitarian demining, particularly during the Ottawa negotiations. With the Convention coming into effect on l March, the FCO’s primary role now is to ensure that the UK meets its commitments under the Convention. This will include compiling the UK response to the Article 7 reporting requirement on its implementation of the Convention’s provisions.
The FCO co-ordinates the activities of other government departments, so that the UK presents a coherent humanitarian demining policy when dealing with the international mine action community. The FCO chairs the Government’s Inter-Departmental Working Group on Humanitarian Demining, which facilitates effective consultation and co-ordination between the three government departments responsible for humanitarian demining.
The FCO has also contributed £450,000 to UNMAS, of which £200,000 is to be used to develop a database of mine information from field activities. The remainder is forUNMAS’ public awareness programme, including equipment for conferences, a minefield simulator for exhibitions, production of a CD ROM and printing costs for “Landmines”.
THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has destroyed all operational stocks of land service anti-personnel mines and will have destroyed all other anti-personnel mines by the end of l999, some three years sooner than obliged to. MOD has assisted, through NATO, the destruction of stockpiles of anti-personnel mines in Albania and is investigating where other assistance could be provided.
The UK MOD possesses skills and equipment which are applicable to Humanitarian Mine Action. Both before and after the Ottawa Convention the MOD has contributed assistance to demining programmes, such as Cambodia and Afghanistan attachments to the United Nations and national Mine Action Centres. Within the UK, the MOD Mine Information and Training Centre offers a focal point for information and training and has provided mine awareness training to over 5000 military and civilian personnel. The MOD has also been able to donate surplus military equipment to NGOs which has, in certain circumstances, speeded up their demining by a factor of four. Furthermore, where applicable, information of interest to humanitarian mine clearance organisations is made available from military research into technology to locate and destroy mines.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
DFID has set up arrangements for dialogue with agencies concerned with humanitarian actions.
For more detail on issues raised here, please contact:
Conflict & Humanitarian Affairs Department,
Department for International Development,
94 Victoria Street,
London SWlE 5JL, UK
fax: (+44) (0) 171 917 0502
phone: (+44) (0) 171 917 0273
United Nations Development Programme
UNDP ARTICLE FOR THE LANDMINE MONITOR : February 1999
The indiscriminate laying of landmines has created a long term development problem in many countries across the globe. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has a growing role in supporting Governments of mine affected countries and local communities to address this problem.
The recently finalized United Nations Policy on Mine Action3 confirms the need for a fully integrated response to the problems caused by landmines and UXO, which incorporates mine awareness and risk reduction education; minefield survey, mapping, marking and clearance; victim assistance, including rehabilitation and reintegration; and advocacy to stigmatize the use of landmines and support a total ban on antipersonnel landmines. The policy outlines the roles and responsibilities of each of the relevant UN Agencies, coordinated by the UN Mine Action Service.
UNDP is responsible “for addressing the socio-economic consequences of landmine contamination and for supporting national/local capacity building to ensure the elimination of the obstacle they pose to the resumption of normal economic activity, reconstruction and development. When applicable, UNDP will have normal responsibility for the development of integrated, sustainable national/local mine action programmes…..”
To do this, UNDP helps :
· Establish management infrastructures and institutional arrangements in mine affected countries through providing information and technical support, and management and training support for national personnel;
· Arrange training for technical teams, managers and other support staff, to build the national capacity to manage mine action programmes in the future;
· Set up national data-bases and provide input into information systems linked to landmine surveys and the identification and marking of dangerous areas, so that there is clear data on the extent of the problem which provides the basis for setting of priorities for all aspects of Mine Action;
· Ensure public education campaigns form a part of overall capacity building in collaboration with UNICEF, so that local communities are empowered to minimize exposure to risk in their everyday life;
· Support victim rehabilitation projects at the field level, in coordination with UNICEF and WHO, providing both medical assistance and rehabilitation and socio-economic reintegration;
· Empower governments and communities to carry out their own advocacy and resource mobilization efforts to raise support from donor communities and to assist with the establishment and management of Trust Funds, and the submission of programme information to the UN Mine Action portfolio;
UNDP, with its network of offices in 137 countries and its multi-sectoral approach to development, is able to provide appropriately targeted support and training for the establishment of national Mine Action Programmes. To provide direct support to the country offices, who in turn assist National Governments in dealing with this issue, a Mine Action Project was established with a small team of specialist staff based at the UNDP Headquarters in New York. The team provides assistance in areas such as technical advice, resource mobilization and advocacy for a holistic approach to mine action. The Mine Action Team also provide coordination with the UN Mine ActionService, other UN partners, the World Bank, non-government organizations and donors.
Mine Action capacity building projects are in various stages of development the following twelve countries:
UNDP took over responsibility in 1997 from the former UN Department for Humanitarian Affairs (DHA) for a capacity building programme at the Angolan Institute for the Removal of Obstacles and Explosive Ordnance (INAROEE). Since its inception in 1995, INAROEE has established clearance brigades in seven of Angola’s 18 provinces. Before the renewal of hostilities in December 1998, clearance teams had demined 200 minefields, out of a total of 2200, freeing access to water sources, agricultural land, schools and clinics.
UNDP granted $1 million to the 1998-1999 programme, while the equivalent of $3 million was pledged by the Angolan Government. In the light of the current security situation, the programme’s design and concept for operations are currently under review.
To facilitate resettlement, UNDP launched a reconstruction project that targeted housing, water systems, schools, health facilities, telecommunications and power plants, and led to the establishment of the Azerbaijan Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency (ARRA). A comprehensive mine action programme and a National Mine Action Agency (ANAMA) were established to further expand resettlement activities, with help from UNDP, UNHCR, the World Bank, the European Union and other donors. UNDP support to this capacity building project is integrated into a broader reconstruction plan that has attracted over $40 million from the World Bank and the Islamic Bank, following a seed investment of $3.3 million from UNDP.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
In July 1998, UNDP took over the responsibility for Bosnia’s demining programme from the UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), and has been assisting the governments of both constituent entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska) to develop a mine action programme, identify priorities and supervise clearance operations. To facilitate contributions to the mine action programme’s annual requirement of $10 million, UNDP established and manages a Mine Action Trust Fund.
In November 1993, the UN Secretary-General entrusted the responsibility for Cambodia’s mine action activities to UNDP. A capacity building programme and a Trust Fund for support to the Cambodia Mine Action Center (CMAC) were established. By the end of 1998, CMAC had received cumulative cash contributions exceeding $48 million, through fund raising efforts supported by UNDP.
CMAC is a national endeavour with an organizational strength of 3,000 Cambodian staff. In the past year, CMAC teams conducted awareness training that reached nearly 360,000 people in over 1,700 villages. Through this UNDPprogramme, donors provide military advisers and civilian technical assistance for planning, management, finance, logistics and human resource development.
In 1995, the Government of Chad requested UNDP’s assistance in the coordination of a national mine action programme intended to support the peace process and facilitate humanitarian and economic development plans in the northern region of Borkou-Ennedi-Tibetsi (BET). In conjunction with a US bilateral programme to train 80 demining instructors, UNDP established a National Mine Action Center, supported public education campaigns and is training management and administrative staff. An additional 40 deminers were trained in December 1998, and a Regional Mine Action Center is set to open in Faya Largeau in March 1999, contingent upon available resources.
UNDP began discussions with the Government of Iran in 1996 to develop and implement an integrated mine action programme, as well as set up a national civilian capacity to deal with the problem on a long-term basis. An initial UNDP investment of $200,000 led to a $3 million commitment from the Iranian government.
A pilot project in Iran’s western regions is being planned to survey and mark mined areas and begin clearance activities. To address its mine problem, Iran intends to maximise the use of technology and mechanical means.
Since late 1995, UNDP has been providing essential management and institutional support to the Lao mine action programme, known as UXO LAO. In 1997 and 1998, UXO LAO provided over 370 nationals with courses in clearance, medical training, community awareness, leadership and "training of trainers." Mine awareness teams briefed over 230,000 people and over 450 hectares of land have been cleared for roads, fields, homes, schools, water supplies and irrigation systems.
UNDP also helped establish and manages a Trust Fund, approved in 1995, to which it has contributed over $2 million. The Fund has received cash contributions totalling over $6 million toward the programme’s annual requirement of $16 million.
With assistance from the former UNDHA, the Government of Mozambique launched an Accelerated Demining Programme (ADP) to develop a national capacity in all areas of mine action. The programme was transferred to UNDP in 1997, and a project was added to support the National Demining Commission (CND) as the national coordinating body.
To date, the ADP has cleared over 2.7 million square meters of area known or suspected to be mined. A library of mine-related information gathered from the provinces through mine surveys and reconnaissance is also being established. A UNDP project to clear the land surrounding the Massingir Dam is set to begin in February 1999, to permit an $80 million refurbishment project funded by the African Development Bank.
To address pressing humanitarian and development needs, UNDP initiated a project in Northwest Somalia, opened a school for deminers and trained over 60 Somali deminers and medics in survey and clearance procedures, in partnership with the Somaliland National Demining Agency (an independent agency in the Ministry of Rehabilitation).
The town of Burao and its surrounding areas were identified as a first priority for mine clearance to allow the return of 25,000 displaced people and the resumption of trade through the port of Berbera. Local and international teams began clearance operations in mid-1998 and cleared over 78,000 square metres of land by November 1998.
This project, to which UNDP contributed $400,000, is a component of a larger Plan of Action for Civil Protection in Somalia.
When the Government of Sri Lanka requested the assistance of UNDP in 1997, it funded a feasibility study and provided $300,000 in seed money to help launch a pilot Mine Action Project (MAP) in the Jaffna area, as part of the Jaffna Rehabilitation and Resettlement Programme. MAP is designed to confirm the boundaries of safe territory and limit injuries by sealing off dangerous areas. The Project will also clear schools and recreational facilities, to help communities regain a sense of normalcy after the war.
UNDP is working closely with the Government of Tajikistan to establish a mine action cell and develop a framework for a comprehensive programme that will include setting up information management systems and supporting mine awareness activities as priority tasks.
Although technical assistance was provided from March 1995 to March 1996 by UNDP and the former DHA, and support for on-going mine awareness and other activities is being provided by UNICEF and Save the Children–Sweden (Rädda Barnen), the existing mine action capacities in Yemen are not sufficient to handle the landmine threat. A national Level One survey, coordinated by UNMAS and implemented by the Survey Action Centre, is planned for 1999.
Following a UN Interagency Mine Assessment Mission in September 1998, UNDP is currently finalizing a capacity building project to strengthen management and institutional arrangements, in support of the government’s National Mine Action Committee, decreed in June 1998 within the Ministry of State for Cabinet Affairs.
This project will complement an ongoing $3.5 million programme funded by the United States. UNDP is also establishing a mine action Trust Fund to facilitate donor contributions, which have been steadily increasing since Yemen’s ratification of the Ottawa Convention.
In addition, the Government of Croatia has requested that the UN support to the Croatian Mine Action Centre (CROMAC) be transferred from UNMAS to UNDP, and it is expected that this will occur during 1999. Further inter-agency assessment missions, led by UNMAS in 1999 are expected to result in additional countries requesting UNDP’s assistance.
The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) has been contracted to provide project services for many of these programmes. Further information on the specific achievements of the programmes is contained in the country information provided in this issue.
UNDP’s role is not to engage in mine clearance itself, but to assist Governments to develop long term capacity to manage, prioritize and coordinate their Mine Action Programme. UNDP currently has a study underway, supported by several donors, to assess the global training need for management and supervisory staff and to propose options to address it. Existing national training capacities and initiatives will be considered as part of the recommended solutions. This study started in January 1999, and the report, with recommendations is expected in March.
UNDP also has a role as a funding agency, having provided over US $ 10 million of its own funds as seed money to initiate programmes and activities in a number of countries. In addition, UNDP is actively involved in resource mobilization and coordination with the donor community supporting the establishment and management of Trust Funds for Mine Action Programmes. It has secured a total of US$2.65 million from the UN Foundation for the Socio-Economic Reintegration of Mine Victims, and for Mine Awareness in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In addition, the UN Foundation recently approved a proposal submitted jointly by UNDP and UNMAS for the conduct of ten Level One Surveys in mine affected countries via the Survey Action Center. The Foundation will provide up to US$3.79 million in matching grants towards this important initiative.
UNDP seeks and supports partnerships with other organizations working in the area of Mine Action – for example the UNA-USA, which has launched an “Adopt a Minefield” initiative, the Marshall Legacy Institute which is supporting the establishment of a K9 Demining Corps, and cooperation with the Governments of the United States and Japan who are funding the UNDP project for the clearance of mines at the Massingir Dam in Mozambique, which is a key element for the redevelopment of agriculture in the area.
The Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) is a another important partner for UNDP. GICHD will provide information management systems to all UNDP Mine Action Programmes in-country to permit better coordination and prioritization at the country level, and with UNMAS at the international level. Each year, the GICHD convenes a conference attended by all Mine Action Programme Managers and their national counterparts which allows UNDP staff and others to pool their experiences and lessons learned.
United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund
Following the release of the United Nations Secretary-General’s report on “Renewing the United Nations: A Programme for Reform” (A/51/950), the United Nations under the leadership of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), developed a concerted, coherent and transparent UN Policy on Mine Action. In discussion with UN partners, the policy determined that “UNICEF is the focal point on mine awareness education. In this capacity it will provide appropriate guidanceof all mine awareness programmes, liaising closely with concerned partners… UNICEF, in collaboration with WHO, ICRC and other partners… will ensure comprehensive rehabilitation… and advocate for the promotion of a total ban on anti-personnel landmines and the ratification of the Ottawa Convention”.
UNICEF is currently undertaking mine action programmes in 10 countries world-wide and seeks to utilise the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as the framework for developing a ‘rights based approach’ to programming. Programmes supported by the agency are based on sustainable, long-term local capacity building initiatives. In dealing with the problem of landmines, UNICEF undertakes advocacy and mine awareness education, and occasionally assist its partners with victim assistance.
In early 1998, all UNICEF Regional Directors, country Representatives and National Committees were instructed to approach and lobby the responsible Ministries to support the Ottawa Convention and promote early ratification. Staff were informed that should they require additional assistance, the Government of Canada and the NGOs in the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) would be rallying their supporters in this endeavour. UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy stated that “the quest for ratification is a matter of such importance that any member of senior management will be ready to intervene (even, if absolutely necessary, to travel) in order to facilitate success”.
The Organisation for African Unity (OAU) and UNICEF announced a cooperative effort, on 10 February 1998, to press for ratification at the earliest possible date and pledged to work with donor countries and other partners to ensure comprehensive and complementary programmes on demining, destruction of stockpiles and rehabilitation of victims.
The Permanent Mission of Canada, the OAU and UNICEF held a Tripartite Meeting on African Ratification of the Landmines Convention in April 1998.
In mid-June, a joint press release was issued by the Secretary-General Kofi Annan and UNICEF announcing the halfway mark to final ratification. Constant pressure was exerted with parliamentarians, popular opinion leaders and policy makers throughout the process.
In September 1998, the Ottawa Convention became the quickest ratified treaty in history.
UNICEF continues to support the activities of the Government of Canada and International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) in their endeavours towards achieving universalization of the Ottawa Convention. All mine-related issues will be integrated into UNICEF’s regular programming efforts and a manual will be developed to educate both staff and the donor community on this comprehensive range of activities being undertaken by the agency.
Mine Awareness Education
UNICEF organised a third workshop to finalise the International Guidelines for Mine Awareness Education in Florence, from 13-15 December, 1998. The Guidelines have been developed in close consultation with major international and national NGOs,the ICRC and UN partners. The Guidelines, once concluded, will serve to guide the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all United Nations mine awareness programmes. Based on these Guidelines, and in collaboration with its NGO partners, UNICEF will develop training modules to undertake a ‘training of trainers’. An initial group of UN and NGO staff will participate in a Training of Trainers Workshop, following which the training module will be further refined. Over the next three years UNICEF will continue to build its own capacity and that of its local implementing partners to undertake mine awareness programmes world wide.
UNICEF has participated in all UNMAS-lead Inter-Agency Assessment Missions to mine-affected countries, and in cooperation with its NGO partners, has prepared and developed additional mine awareness programmes based on these assessments. Since 1998, missions have been undertaken to Ethiopia, Somalia, Burundi, Yemen, Azerbaijan and Jordan, Lebanon.
A major travelling exhibition on anti-personnel landmines was produced for purposes of advocacy and mine awareness education, and will be displayed both within the US and internationally.
UNICEF will work closely with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) to develop modalities of cooperation in data gathering and data dissemination for planning it mine awareness and victim assistance strategies.
UNICEF cooperated with DC Comics and the US Departments of State and Defence in developing a Superman/Wonder Woman mine awareness comic book for children in the Central American countries of Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
UNICEF cooperates closely with its UN and NGO partners to support the physical and psychosocial rehabilitation of mine survivors and their reintegration within the communities. Support has been provided for the development of low-cost, locally produced prosthetics, orthotics and other assistive devices. Economic and social rehabilitation for the disabled is being undertaken through psychosocial counselling, referrals to prosthetic workshops, physiotherapy, community-based rehabilitation, vocational training, and the provision of grants or loans to start up small businesses. This programme also ensures that disabled children go to school and encourages the creation of self-help groups of disabled persons. In collaboration with the appropriate Ministries of Health, UNICEF also supports the construction of Rural Health Centres in heavily mined areas.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and UNICEF assisted the Swiss Government through the provision of technical assistance in the formulation of the Berne Manifesto on victim assistance. This initiative was developed to gain the support of like-minded countries for the provision of assistance to mine victims.
UNICEF Country Programmes
UNICEF plans to undertake a range of activities during 1999 in the following 10 countries:
UNICEF will continue to incorporate mine awareness messages into the educational system targeting school children in affected provinces and preparing training materials in collaboration with the National Institute for Mines Action (INAROEE) and the Ministry of Education. Mine awareness will be provided for the local population through national and International NGOs, radio broadcasts, media campaigns, theatre group training and field monitoring exercises. Mine incident data will be gathered from all affected provinces and training programmes for local health professionals utilising child-centred prosthetics and orthotics, and physical therapy for affected children will be introduced. Educational materials for prosthetic and orthotic training courses will be developed in cooperation with the NGO community.
· Bosnia & Herzegovina
UNICEF will continue to develop mine awareness education kits for training teachers and educators and undertake monitoring and evaluation of UN and NGO activities. Training programmes through the NGO, “Spirit of Soccer” will disseminate mine awareness through coaching clinics. The use of theatre, radio and TV will augment programmes and technical support for implementation of mine awareness education.
Child-centred mine awareness programmes will continue to be undertaken in cooperation with the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) and activities such as survey, permanent marking, awareness and selective limited clearance will be undertaken with community participation. UNICEF will continue to support the CMAC Integrated Database and the CRC Mine Incident Database to collect comprehensive information on mine incidents and to improve the planning, monitoring and evaluation of mine action activities. Prosthetics, orthotics and other assistive devises will be provided in support of programmes in cooperation with Handicap International (HI) , Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) and the Ministry of Health.
Based on the results of a KABP Survey (knowledge, attitude, behaviour and practise) undertaken in 1998, UNICEF will develop appropriate mine awareness materials targeting the most vulnerable sections of the population in order to alter risk-taking behaviour. Mine awareness and teacher training will continue in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the Police Academy, the Ministry of the Interior and national NGOs.
A survey and the development of a national database and registry of rehabilitation resources will be initiated in Guatemala. Training will be provided in prosthetics/orthotics, occupational and physical therapy, psychosocial counselling and rehabilitative equipment will be provided for mine victims. Community-based education, information and communication programmes will be developed.
Community awareness and the increase in technical capacity at field level, support for material development, production, and assistance to strengthen community awareness management and on-the-job training is planned. Monitoring and evaluation components will be further refined.
UNICEF plans to support the National Demining Commission for data gathering of mine accidents and undertake a national assessment of mine victims to ensure access to existing health and social service structures. Assistance will be provided for physical and psychosocial rehabilitation through orthopaedic workshops and trauma counselling and for training of school teachers, social and health workers on mine awareness education. Monitoring and evaluation of local and community level mine awareness programmes will be on-going.
Mine awareness materials will be developed and child broadcasters trained in coordination with the Nicaraguan Red Cross. Community-based solutions will be formulated following discussions with 600 communities.
Mine awareness training to be undertaken through local schools, women’s groups and NGOs. Reporting systems on mine accidents will be strengthened and the development of appropriate communication tools (toys, puppets, games, posters, videos, etc) by local and international counterparts will be supported. UNICEF will undertake a ‘training of trainers’ on mine risk education and provide technical assistance to UN staff, local authorities and NGOs on the design and implementation of survey instruments.
United Nations Mine Action Service
UNMAS contribution to the 1999 Landmine Monitor Report
Years of conflict have left millions of scattered and unrecorded landmines in more than fifty countries. Civilians, children as well as adults, are more and more often targets of these sly weapons in times of war and have become by the thousands victims of their deadly legacy in times of peace. Vast areas of land and resources have been removed from productive use. There is growing awareness within the international community that what has come to be known as the “global landmine crisis” has far-reaching consequences and requires a multi-faceted and integrated response.
A broad spectrum of activities make up mine action, including marking and clearance, but also risk-reduction education, victim assistance, and advocacy in support of a global ban. The United Nations has been playing a significant role in this regard, establishing and supporting programmes in Africa, Asia and Europe; focusing the respective strengths of its departments, agencies, programmes and funds; and collaborating closely with Governments, non-governmental organizations and concerned citizens to promote an open dialogue with those affected and those prepared to provide assistance.
In October 1997, in recognition of the multi-disciplinary nature of mine action, and of the requirement for enhanced coordination, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) was established to serve as UN focal point for landmine-related issues and activities. Under its leadership, a comprehensive and transparent policy was developed, encapsulating the key principles upon which UN mine action is based, and clarifying roles and responsibilities within the UN system.1
UNMAS is dedicated to the reduction of the suffering caused by landmines and their impact on people and communities. As UN focal point, and in consultation with other partners, UNMAS establishes priorities for assessment missions, facilitates a coherent and constructive dialogue with the donor and international communities on the mine issue, and coordinates the mobilization of resources. It is also responsible for the development, maintenance and promotion of technical and safety standards; for the collection, analysis and dissemination of mine-related information, including information on technology; for advocacy efforts in support of a global ban on antipersonnel landmines; and for the management of the Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action.
Assessment and monitoring of the landmine threat
One of UNMAS’ main responsibilities is to assess and monitor the global landmine threat with a view to identifying needs and developing appropriate responses. In 1998, five inter-agency and multi-sectoral assessment missions were conducted to this end in Azerbaijan, Burundi, Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen. Ten more missions are planned for 1999, of which two have already taken place, in Jordan and Lebanon. The aim of these missions is to define the scope and nature of the landmine/UXO problem in the affected countries, to identify constraints and opportunities relating to the development of mine-action initiatives, and to make recommendations for a comprehensive response, including institutional arrangements for the coordination and implementation of mine-action activities. The implementation of general Level I Surveys is often a natural follow-up to the assessment missions. They are designed not only to identify the general location of mined or suspected mined areas, but also to measure the humanitarian and socio-economic impact of landmine contamination. Such surveys focus on collecting information for clearance activities as well as mine awareness and victim assistance programmes in support of a complete national response. The determination of priorities as a result of this process will allow activities and resources to be concentrated on the areas of greatest need. A Level I Survey has been initiated in Yemen in 1998. Additional Level I Surveys are being considered for 1999, in consultation with the Survey Action Centre and with funding provided by donor countries and the United Nations Foundation.
Programme initiation and programme support
Since the initiation of the Afghan mine-action programme in 1988, the United Nations has considerably developed its field activities. In keeping with the UN mine action policy, responsibility for supporting long-term integrated mine-action programmes rests with UNDP. Thus, programmes in Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Laos, and Mozambique, for example, are supported by UNDP, even though most of them were initiated by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and/or the former Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA). As for the Afghan and Iraq programmes, they fall under the responsibility of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the Iraq “oil-for-food” Programme respectively. For all these programmes, UNMAS remains involved in an advisory and monitoring capacity.
In Croatia, UNMAS continues to be directly responsible for the mine-action programme, the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) acting as implementing partner. However, it is planning to transfer this responsibility to UNDP by the end of 1999, in conformity with the principles agreed upon in the UN mine action policy. In the meantime, humanitarian emergencies are likely to require the establishment of new projects in countries such as Sudan, where UNMAS will be responsible for developing the initial plans.
UNMAS is also supporting mine action in the context of peacekeeping operations. In Western Sahara, about 100 demining specialists were originally deployed between May and November 1998 to verify and clear MINURSO deployment sites, and prepare the repatriation of refugees. As the political process stalled, the mine-action force was reduced to an information cell which continues to collect and disseminate mine-related information and to coordinate EOD and mine clearance operations conducted by Moroccan and Polisario forces. Should the political process resume as originally planned, new clearance teams will need to be deployed. In Lebanon and Kuwait (UNIFIL and UNIKOM) also, EOD and clearance teams remain available in support of the peacekeepers.
Given the scope of the landmine problem, the wide spectrum of factors to take into consideration, and the number of actors involved, the development of an appropriate information management system is a priority for UNMAS. Such an information management system will greatly support proper monitoring, planning, and programme implementation. It will serve the needs not only of the United Nations but of other partners as well. An agreement has been concluded between UNMAS and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining to this effect. The first phase of the project, the development of a field module, has just been completed. This field module will be made available upon request to existing or new programmes.
Quality management and technology
UNMAS remains committed to develop, maintain and promote technical and safety standards for mine action. International Standards for Humanitarian Mine Clearance Operations have already been produced in 1998. They will be reviewed and updated during the course of 1999. Guidelines for mine awareness have also been drafted by UNICEF, with inputs from UNMAS and other partners from Governmentsand civil society. They are in the process of being finalised and circulated. As for the public health aspect of victim assistance, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has taken the lead within the UN system to discuss with other actors such as ICRC the requirement for additional standards and/or guidelines.
Building on standards and guidelines, training is an essential component of quality management. In a 1997 study the United Nations observed that “middle and senior level management skills are one of the biggest challenges facing training programmes and are central to the task of developing an indigenous mine-action capacity.” An assessment of the training needs of national and local mine-action managers was accordingly conducted by UNDP, in collaboration with UNMAS, in January 1999. The implementation of its recommendations will require the cooperation of all programmes in the field and of all UN agencies at headquarters.
With regard to technology, there is growing acceptance that a more universal application of existing equipment could enable mine action to be conducted more effectively, cheaply and quickly, and with less risk. UNMAS has been called upon to take an important role in this regard, through the collection and dissemination of appropriate information, and the development of standards where required and practical. UNMAS has drafted International Guidelines for the Procurement of Mine-action Equipment accordingly. These guidelines are being discussed with all partners concerned. UNMAS intends to work closely with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining in this regard.
Advocacy and consciousness-raising
Advocacy and consciousness-raising activities are integral parts of the international effort to rid the world of landmines. In the past two years, UNMAS has taken a lead role in developing materials which stigmatize the use of landmines and support a global ban on these weapons. More than 250,000 consciousness-raising materials including posters, bookmarks, books, videos and stickers with anti-landmine messages as well as the United Nations Landmines Magazine have reached up to 50,000 institutions, decision makers and concerned individuals worldwide.
Minefield simulators and other exhibitions have also been extremely effective in raising awareness, especially in countries which have little or no experience with landmine contamination. The first minefield simulator exhibition was created for a conference in Tokyo in 1997. It has since traveled to the Imperial War Museum in London, is currently in Glasgow, Scotland, and will be traveling to Athens, Geneva and Vienna.
UNMAS has initiated this year the creation of an improved simulator as well as the development of a mine-action CD-ROM to be used as both an instrument of advocacy and a teaching tool. It will also be providing grants to selected mine-action programmes to develop public service announcements for national broadcast.
The vast majority of UN mine-action activities is funded from voluntary donor contributions. Resource mobilisation is therefore instrumental to the success of UN mine-action endeavours. As UN focal point, UNMAS coordinates resource mobilisation and manages the Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action. Each year it prepares a consolidated “Portfolio of Mine-related Projects” for this purpose, including brief descriptions and budget requirements for all UN mine-action programmes and projects, be they implemented by UNDP, UNICEF, or any other UN agency or programme. UNMAS also liaises on an ongoing basis with the donor community to discuss priorities and funding gaps.
The Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action (VTF) was established in 1994 to support the overall coordination of UN mine action, to finance the initiation of new mine-action projects and activities, and to bridge funding gaps in ongoing programmes. Contributions received in the VTF amounted to $300,000 in 1994, $16.3 million in 1995, $11.6 million in 1996, $8.1 million in 1997, $11.1 million in 1998, and $1 million for the first three months of 1999. They were used in particular to initiate programmes in Angola, Mozambique, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.
While lives have already been saved, and valuable assets returned to a productive use, the success of mine-action endeavours depends very much on the political commitment of the parties involved, on the overall security situation, and on the effective cooperation of all parties willing to provide assistance. In its capacity as UN focal point for mine action, UNMAS stands ready to facilitate and support all international efforts in this regard.
UNITED NATIONS RESOURCES
- 1998 Report of the Secretary-General on Assistance in Mine Clearance, A/53/496, dated 14 October 1998
- 1998 Resolution of the General Assembly on Assistance in Mine Action, A/RES/53/26, dated 31 December 1998
- Terminology Bulletin 349, Humanitarian Demining, 1997
- International Standards for Humanitarian Mine Clearance Operations, 1998
- DHA Study Report on the Development of Indigenous Mine Action Capacities, 1998
(With country studies on Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia and Mozambique)
- Landmines quarterly newsletter
- Mine action and Effective Coordination: the United Nations Policy, October 1998
- UN website, <http://www.un.org/Depts/Landmine/index.html>
World Health Organization
Violence and Injury Prevention Unit (PVI)
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WHO PLAN OF ACTION ON A CONCERTED PUBLIC HEALTH RESPONSE TO ANTI-PERSONNEL MINES
SHORT UPDATE AND ACTIVITIES PLANNED FOR 1999
1. General considerations
In May 1998 the 51st World Health Assembly endorsed the WHO Plan of Action on a Concerted Public Health Response to Anti-Personnel Mines, developed by the Violence and Injury Prevention Unit. This plan has three main components:
Surveillance and Information
Pre-Hospital and Hospital Care Management
Physical and Psychosocial Rehabilitation
2. Priority objective one of the Plan of Action: Surveillance and Information
To strengthen the surveillance capability of national health systems to assess the severity of the problem through the collection of data on mortality, morbidity and disability as well as the response capacity through the collection of data on level of health care facilities, capacity, organization, equipment, staff, etc.
Data on landmine-related injuries and disability are difficult to collect because the regions most affected by landmines are generally among the poorest and most inaccessible, and are sometimes still at war. Current statistics on landmine-related injuries are often based on extrapolations from partial survey information. Better understanding the magnitude of landmine-related injuries is crucial for the development of appropriate interventions, impact evaluation, and optimal use of resources.
28-30 September 1998:
In order to initiate a process of consultation/involvement of Ministries of Health in countries, WHO convened the First Inter-Regional Workshop on a Concerted Public Health Response to Anti-Personnel Mines, in Kampala, Uganda, 28-30 September 1998.
During country presentations, it clearly appeared that surveillance systems documenting the number of landmine victims are lacking. Ministries of Health asked WHO for technical assistance to develop such systems.
21-22 January 1999:
In order to respond to recommendations made in Kampala providing countries with a data collection strategy and tools to better document the incidence of fatal and non-fatal landmine-related injuries, WHO has convened a technical meeting involving the representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (represented by Physicians for Human Rights), the Injury Control Centre - Uganda and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Objectives of the meeting were:
To initiate a group of experts representing several institutions involved in data collection on landmine-related injuries
To review existing tools and strategies for data collection
Based on the review carried out, to develop a data collection tool to document the incidence of fatal and non-fatal landmine-related injuries.
To discuss a common and integrated strategy for data collection on the incidence of landmine-related injuries.
Two instruments were agreed upon:
1. Minimal recommended data set for surveillance on landmine-related injuries: a tool for surveillance that will allow data collection on the number of victims and the following data elements: demographics, activity at time of injury, place of occurrence (location and type of area), arrival sequence, type of device, result of injury, clinical characteristics, disposition and outcome.
2. Minimal recommended data set for surveys to capture information on victims of fatal and non-fatal landmine-related injuries: A tool similar to the one for surveillance was developed to be used to capture information on existing fatalities.
Activities planned for 1999:
Pilot testing of the surveillance instruments:
Based on the needs of countries and the availability of staff, pilot testing of both tools was tentatively planned to occur, in the first half of 1999.
Implementation of surveillance systems. Once data collection instruments have been finalized, data collection systems will be implemented in the 10 countries that participated in the Kampala meeting. All have expressed interest in developing surveillance systems. This part of the project will start in August 1999. Surveillance systems will be set up gradually during the period between August and December.
Dissemination of the data: data that was collected will be disseminated in order to be used by Governments, UN agencies and NGOs for adequate planning of service response to mine victim assistance.
3. Priority objective two: Emergency and post-emergency care management
To cooperate with Ministries of Health of affected states and, jointly with ICRC disseminate and/or develop standards for strengthening the capacity of health care services in emergency and post-emergency care management, with due attention to laboratory and blood bank services needs.
The most critical moments for a person who has sustained a mine injury are the first hours immediately after the injury. A considerable percentage of mine victims die before reaching the hospital or health centre. This is mainly due to the fact that the access to a health centre in the surrounding area is lacking. In several rural areas it can take more than six hours to reach a first aid centre. Therefore the care of a mine victim must start at the site of the injury. The first persons that will care for the victim are villagers and community members. In some cases a Community Health Worker (CHW) with basic health care training might be available. The community has the responsibility to get access to the victim and assist him/her. This requires, inter alia, the knowledge about how to enter the minefield. The time saved could make the difference between life and death of a mine victim.
28-30 September 1998:
The First WHO Inter-Regional Workshop on a Concerted Public Health response to Anti-Personnel Mines, held in Kampala, Uganda, in September 1998, emphasized the need to conduct training on pre-hospital care in most of the participating countries.
Activities planned for 1999:
The "First Tromso Workshop on Prehospital Management of Mine Injuries", organized by the Trauma Care Foundation, Tromso University and WHO will be held on the 15-20 March 1999.
to bring together all the trainers from the different countries where the pre-hospital care training programmes have been implemented for some years to exchange experiences and discuss the immediate life saving procedures for mine victims (A Village University @ training model);
to make recommendations for the further development and improvement of local life-saving projects for mine victims
to develop pre-hospital training guidelines adapted to the different country realities.
A three folded training course
Training of trainers (Sudan, June 1999)
training at district hospital level (date to be decided)
training of trainers and training of villagers (date to be decided)
Participants shall include all the African countries that participated in the Kampala workshop: Angola, Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.
The same type of training will be carried out in other regions, once completed in the African region.
Priority Objective three: Physical and Psychosocial Rehabilitation
To develop national standards and comprehensive programmes for physical and psychosocial rehabilitation of landmine victims within the frame of community-based rehabilitation programmes in order to ensure complete integration of persons with disabilities within the community. To assure the provision of prosthetic and other assistive devices, including maintenance and repair. To promote decentralization of rehabilitation services through primary health care, supported by an appropriate referral system.
The main challenge of direct mine victim assistance is how to transform an injured person in a minefield into a fully integrated and productive citizen of his or her society. Several steps need to be undertaken in order that this challenge is successfully met. These start with the evacuation and transport of the wounded, first aid, adequate surgery, and safe blood for transfusion. Whenever the victim is an amputee, he/she will require the fitting of a prosthesis and psychological and social support. The successful accomplishment of all these different tasks will depend upon a well functioning health and social service system.
In order to provide a concerted WHO response to Resolution WHA 51.8, endorsing the plan of action, the Violence and Injury Prevention Team has joined efforts with the Disability and Rehabilitation team and the Nations for Mental Health team. The three teams will secure mutual programme delivery at country level.
§28-30 September 1998:
The First WHO Inter-Regional Workshop on a Concerted Public Health response to Anti-Personnel Mines, held in Kampala, Uganda, in September 1998, emphasized the need to conduct integrated rehabilitation activities in most of the participating countries.
Discussions have been held with the Italian NGO "Emergency" to develop collaboration in the area of physical and psychosocial rehabilitation.
Activities planned for 1999:
A community based approach to rehabilitation of landmine victims
To develop, within a Community Based Rehabilitation/Primary Health Care framework, strategies for provision of rehabilitation services to landmine victims, including the assessment of psychosocial needs of landmine victims.
Increased awareness among governments and donors about the need for creating a continuum in rehabilitation services, from the conflict period to the long-term reconstruction;
Increased awareness about the need for decentralisation of rehabilitation services and for increased community participation;
Support for coordinated and integrated responses by the international community for rehabilitation intervention in conflict and post-conflict situations.
Increased awareness on the psychosocial needs of a landmine victim in order that he/she becomes a fully integrated member of the society.
Time frame and countries:
Assessments carried out in Eritrea, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan.
Implementation in the first year in Iraq, Somalia and Vietnam
Organization of American States
ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR DEMINING IN CENTRAL AMERICA
Unit for the Promotion of Democracy
Organization of American States
The Assistance Program for Demining in Central America was created by the Organization of American States in 1991, in response to requests by Central American countries affected by antipersonnel landmines (Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua). Since May 1995, the general coordination and supervision of the Assistance Program for Demining in Central America (PADCA by its initials in Spanish) has been provided by the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy (UPD), with the technical support of the Inter American Defense Board (IADB). The PADCA is a humanitarian program, which strives to restore public confidence and security to the citizenry and reduce the threat posed by landmines and other unexploded artifacts of war.
The program is a multinational effort, with participation by donor and contributor countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, El Salvador, France, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the United States, and Venezuela.
The Unit for the Promotion of Democracy provides overall diplomatic/political coordination of the Program, fundraising within the international community and the transparent management and accountability for use of international funds. This coordination, both at headquarters and in the affected states, seeks to ensure that all essential components of each national demining project are operating properly (evacuation and medical emergency system, equipment, transportation, food, stipends, insurance coverage for both supervisors and sappers, etc.). The UPD also coordinates the campaign on preventive education for the civilian population.
The IADB is responsible for organizing the international team of technical advisers, supervisors, and mine-clearing experts that carry out the on-site training, provision of technical advice, and supervision of the demining operations; also participates in the design, implementation, and logistic coordination of the national demining plans; certifies that mine-clearing operations are carried out with appropriate, reliable means and materials for detection, destruction, reliable search and verification methods, with appropriate safety procedures and standards.
This team of specialists from OAS member states: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Venezuela, and the United States, has its headquarters in Danlí, El Paraíso, Honduras, from where they are relocated to each of the national projects.
The affected countries (Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua) also make a considerable contributions by providing their sappers, material and financial resources according to their capacity.
The OAS has supported the consideration of the issue of antipersonnel landmines, since 1991 through General Assembly resolutions: “Report on the Procedure or Establishing Firm and Lasting Peace in Central America”, “Support for Mine-Clearing in Central America” and “The Western Hemisphere as an Antipersonnel-Land-Mine-Free Zone.”
These resolutions acknowledge the commitment to promote and make an effective contribution to regional security, complementing and reinforcing efforts to strengthen and maintain international peace and security; to support the Central American countries in their efforts to clear their territories of antipersonnel landmines and their programs on preventive education for the civilian population, the physical and psychological rehabilitation of victims, and the socioeconomic reclamation of demined areas
On the other hand, in keeping with the efforts to transform the Western Hemisphere into an antipersonnel landmine-free-zone, the General Assembly requested a complete and integrated registry of the antipersonnel landmines, based on information provided annually by Member States on the following: approximate numbers of antipersonnel landmines in their stockpiles, the number of antipersonnel landmines that have been removed in the previous year, their plans for clearing the remaining antipersonnel landmines, and any other pertinent information.
In 1998, the Permanent Council established a registry of antipersonnel landmines to comply with this mandate, and to this date, Antigua and Barbuda, Canada, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, and the United States have provided the required information.
The OAS continues to urge member states that have not yet signed or ratified the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and on Their Destruction to consider doing so as soon as possible to ensure its earliest possible entry into force.
The Organization also encourages member states, in conformity with the agreements in the Plan of Action of the Second Summit of the Americas, to take action and support “international humanitarian demining efforts, with the goal of ensuring that priority is given to mines that threaten civilians and of ensuring that land can be restored for productive purposes. The latter will take place through effective regional and international cooperation and coordination, as requested by the affected States, to survey mark, map and remove mines; effective mine awareness for the civilian population and assistance to victims; and development and deployment for new mine detection and clearance technologies, as appropriate.”
Coordination and Management Methodology: Operating Modules
Operational modules of six-month each, are employed in the program, representing a sound tool for planning, coordinating, and managing the resources required for these operations. These modules serve to associate the demining operations with geographic objectives, evaluations of success and progress. The cost of each module varies by country, depending on the unit's size, the area involved, and the ability of the country to contribute to the operations.
Each module is supported by an agreement between the beneficiary government and the UPD/OAS, that includes an operating budget outlining resources for personnel; equipment; food; stipends; insurance; emergencies, rehabilitation and public prevention campaigns; logistics; management; coordination; and supervision needed to carry out the module.
Program Update by Country
Nicaragua. In September 1991, the Government made a request to the OAS to help eliminate the landmines sown during the national conflict. These mines, mainly commercially produced, had been buried along the borders with Honduras, and Costa Rica; also in electrical power plants, transmission towers, highway bridges, and strategic materiel storage areas.
In response to this request the OAS/IADB designed a joint, internationally financed program in 1992. The program was launched in 1993, with training, provision of equipment, and supervision for the demining operations, the efforts to support this pilot supervisory program were forced to cease when international funding ran out in late 1993. Nicaraguan authorities pursued the efforts by themselves, the OAS/IADB Program resumed in 1996 with new international funding.
Currently, the national program has 15 platoons, with approximately 400 people working on four fronts across the country. Two of these fronts get their financing directly from the international community, whereas the other two receive financial and technical support from PADCA. Efforts include a pilot project for physical rehabilitation, assistance for mine victims and an intensive public information and prevention campaign.
Nicaraguan government authorities have reported that more than 43,000 landmines have been destroyed since 1993 and it is estimated that there are some 576-target areas in the country with about 73,000 mines still to be destroyed. The bulk of these landmines (about 50,000) are located in remote areas along the border with Honduras.
Joint Honduran-Nicaraguan Module. At the request of both governments, the OAS/IADB international supervisor team will coordinate a series of operating demining modules to be executed along the border area by the military forces of both countries, in simultaneous and coordinated efforts to enhance efficiency in the use of resources and reduce costs and time. To this end, a technical team composed of OAS/IADB experts and national representatives is examining the border area and reviewing each country's national plans to ascertain what is needed to reach the goal of making Central America a landmine-free zone, as soon as possible.
Honduras. With no know registries of minefields that generally lie along the border with Nicaragua, the mined areas include trails, storage areas, and security posts used during the past armed conflict in the region. The Demining program began in 1994 with training and equipment supply phases. Demining operations began in September 1995 and continue uninterruptedly, with a team of 120 sappers (soldiers) and 13 international supervisors.
During six operating modules in the last three years, more than 3,000 landmines have been destroyed in the region and 526 hectares of agricultural land have been rehabilitated for productive use, benefiting more than 350 landowners and 2,500 families. Likewise, a significant number of dangerous unexploded artifacts have been removed from the area involved. If demining continues at the same pace in Honduras, it is expected that the national program will conclude in 2000.
Costa Rica. Estimates indicate that there are about 2,000 mines in the region. A total of 37 sappers conduct the demining operations under the supervision of theOAS/IADB international team. Even though it is known that antipersonnel landmines in Costa Rica are concentrated in four general areas along the Nicaraguan border, there are no specific registries of their location. As a result, landmines are difficult to find and destroy; the process is slow, painstaking and dangerous.
The project's activities have concentrated lately on the expert assessment, localization, and marking of the suspicious zones, as well as on public awareness and prevention campaigns. The demining operations were temporarily suspended for lack of air evacuation capabilities. This drawback is in the process of being solved thanks to international cooperation and the government's efforts.
A total of 57 landmines have been destroyed. While this number may seem small, is important that the inhabitants of these regions have regained confidence to go back to work the land. The planned date for concluding demining in the country is 2000.
Guatemala. The PADCA, joining the efforts made by the international community to help the Government meet the commitments arising from the Agreement on Firm and Lasting Peace, which ended more than 36 years of armed conflict in the country. The program initiated in December 1997.
This program is the responsibility of the Demining Coordinating Commission of the Congress. Participating actively in the Commission, are the Volunteer Firemen's Corps and the Corps of Engineers of the Army, both of which are responsible for implementing activities under the National Plan for Demining and Destruction of Unexploed Ordnance.
The overall objective of this project is to provide for execution and administration of the National Plan to assist in the establishment, training, equipping, and maintenance of a national technical organization and capacity, charged with destroying the antipersonnel landmines and unexploded ordnance.
Unexploded ordnance (grenades, mortars, bombs, etc.) represents a significant problem in Guatemala. The national project currently estimates that the number of devices in the process of being destroyed ranges from 5,000 to 8,000. With no known registries for these affected areas, Guatemalan authorities have provided a list of 125 sites that are most likely considered to have concentrations of explosive devices and which serve as a reference for search and destroy operations. Operations began in November 1998 near the village of Ixcán, in the Department of Quiché.
Expansion of the Program as a result of Hurricane Mitch
All Central American countries were severely affected by Hurricane Mitch. In addition to the general devastation produced in the region, it caused a significant disruption of humanitarian landmine removal operations.
The effects have been most dramatic in Nicaragua and Honduras, where there is a sense of urgency in expanding demining in order to reduce the public safety hazard of landmines shifted from their original positions, which could result in further casualties and stand in the way of restoring damaged and destroyed infrastructure and hamper the restoration of public services.
The PADCA is working with the governments of Honduras and Nicaragua to develop the outline for a revised program to expand operations. While the details havenot been finalized, the general thrust of the expansion is to double the capacity coordinated by the OAS in both countries.
These expanded operations would require increased contributions of approximately US $9 million over the next two years. This would be in addition to donations already provided by donors to support the PADCA infrastructure.
Organization of African Unity
The magnitude of the proliferation of anti-personnel mines in Africa is known enough and does not need to be overemphasized. It will be simply recalled that, out of the 110 million devices of this type spread throughout the world, a little more than one third is found in Africa. According to the United Nations, about two million mines are laid every year while those that are cleared number only 200,000. This trend may continue in Africa, more especially as the price of a mine is particularly low - between 3 and 75 US dollars while the cost of clearance varies between 300 and 1000 US dollars, - and that many internal conflicts involving rebel movements continue to tear apart the Continent.
Continuing to strike long after the end of conflicts during which they were used, the mines have a human, social and economic cost totally disproportionate from their military use. Unable to distinguish between a fighter and a non-fighter, these weapons kill or maim hundreds of people every month, mainly civilians among whom women and children represent a high proportion. The medical expenses for the victims weigh so heavily that they overstretch the public health structures of the African countries concerned. Furthermore, the mine victims are a heavy burden for their families and communities. The loss of one limb, indeed, makes them unfit for work. At the economic level, the mines have devastating consequences. They cause the collapse of social structures and considerably hamper agricultural and pastoral activities. They prevent the rehabilitation of road, railway and electric networks; they perturb the domestic market and induce inflationist moves. In a more general manner, these weapons complicate the process of emerging from conflict situations and peace-building: on the one hand, because they lengthen the list of budget priorities with the obligation of undertaking costly mine clearance operations; on the other, hand because they impede the restoration of state authority.
Considering all these elements, the OAU, in consort with the ICRC, organized, during the first half of 1995, three Regional Seminars in Addis Ababa, Harare and Yaounde. It was to sensitize the Member States about the magnitude of the proliferation of mines and the stakes of the Review Conference of the 1980 UN Convention and its Protocol II on Mines, Booby Traps and other devices, then scheduled in Vienna in September 1995.
On its part, the Council of Ministers had, at its 62nd and 63rd Ordinary Sessions, held in Addis Ababa respectively in June 1995 and February 1996, adopted Resolutions CM/Res. 1593 (LXII) and CM/Res. 1628 (LXIII) on the revision of the 1980 UN Convention and on problems posed by the proliferation of anti-personnel mines in Africa. In its Resolutions, Council expressed deep concern about the fact thatAfrica is, throughout the world, the Continent with the largest presence of anti-personnel mines and is, as a result, paying the heaviest toll.
It affirmed its awareness that only appropriate measures adopted by the entire international community would eventually put an end to the scourge of mines. It condemned the cases of flagrant violation of the International Humanitarian Law, through the indiscriminate use of anti-personnel mines and pronounced itself in favour of a total ban of mines and the development of Inter-African Cooperation in the field of mine clearance and assistance to victims as well as an increased assistance from the International Community. In its Resolution CM/Res. 1662 (LXIV), adopted in Yaounde in July 1996, Council reaffirmed the African Common Position as stated in Resolution CM/Res. 1628 (LXIII) and the need to adopt national and regional measures to ban anti-personnel mines.
Sign of the deep concern roused by the scourge of mines, other organs of the OAU adopted resolutions on the matter. Thus the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, at its 17th Session held in Lome, from 13 to 22 March 1995, recommended "that concrete and effective measures be taken urgently to ban the manufacture of anti-personnel mines and that, in the meantime, the existing stockpiles be destroyed and an international monitoring mechanism be established". On its part, the 5th Ordinary Session of the Conference of African Ministers of Health, held in April 1995 in Cairo, pronounced itself for the ban of anti-personnel mines.
As it is known, the extreme weakness of the provisions contained in the revised Protocol II (3 May, 1996) and the need to put a definitive end to the ravages caused by the mines led a number of States, in favour of the total ban of mines, to consider the short and medium term measures to be taken to attain that objective. They grouped around the "Fast Track" of the Ottawa Process.
The OAU participated in the Ottawa Conference of October 1996 and contributed actively to the implementation of the Declaration which was then adopted. Thus, it organized from 19 to 21 May 1997, in Kempton Park, South Africa, the First Continental Conference of African Experts of Anti-Personnel Mines. That Conference, which was attended by more than forty Member States and many non-African countries, International Organizations and NGOs, adopted a Plan of Action based on the following :
At the political level, the Conference particularly requested the African countries to adopt, as objective, the elimination of all anti-personnel mines and the transformation of Africa into a zone free of these weapons and to lay down national legislation totally banning anti-personnel mines;
As regards mine clearance and assistance to victims, the Conference stressed the urgent need to build the national capacities of African countries and Inter-African Cooperation in these fields;
Finally, with regard to international cooperation, the Conference appealed for assistance from the International Community and stressed the moral responsibility of the powers that laid anti-personnel mines in the African countries during the Second World War and / or during conflicts which preceded their accession to independence.
The 66th Ordinary Session of the OAU Council of Ministers, held in Harare, at the end of May and beginning of June, 1997, approved that Plan of Action, urged the Member States to participate fully and actively in the Ottawa Process, particularly inthe meetings then scheduled in Brussels in June 1997, Oslo in September 1997 and Ottawa in December 1997, and called upon those that had not yet done so to accede, as early as possible, to the 1980 UN Convention and its Protocol II. Within the framework of the implementation of that decision, about 30 African countries participated in the Oslo Diplomatic Conference which led to the adoption of the Convention on the total ban of mines. The OAU Member States also participated in large numbers in the signing ceremony of that Convention, which was held in Ottawa in December, 1997.
To maintain the dynamism generated by the Ottawa Conference, the OAU Secretary General, on 27 April, 1998, addressed a letter to the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Member States, requesting them to take all the necessary measures for the signing and ratification, as soon as possible, of the Convention on the Ban of Mines. He also stressed the need for the African countries victims of the scourge of mines to design projects to take advantage of the disposition shown by the donors.
Following that letter, many Member Countries reported on the measures taken, at their level, for the ratification of the Convention and expressed their readiness to contribute to the development of Inter-African cooperation in the field of mine clearance and assistance to the victims. In that connection, the South African Minister for Foreign Affairs informed the Secretary General about the signing of an agreement between his country and Mozambique for the demining of the province of Maputo and other areas and the training given to the members of the Angolan Demining Institute.
As of 8 February, 1998, 41 African countries had signed the Ottawa Convention while 14 of them had ratified it. Three member countries - South Africa, Mali and Zimbabwe - announced the total destruction of their stocks of anti-personnel mine. Furthermore, it should be stressed that, within the framework of the continued sensitization of the Member States, the OAU General Secretariat, in cooperation with the Institute for Strategic Studies, based in Johannesburg, launched a newsletter on small arms, part of which is devoted to the mine problem. Other initiatives meant to speed up the implementation of the Kempton Park Plan of Action and the Ottawa Convention are being considered and would be announced as soon as they were finalized.
Today, there is a double priority. On the one hand, there is need to ensure that those African States which are not yet parties to the Convention become so, as soon as possible. On the other hand, the conditions for the effective implementation of the Convention must be established. In this connection, the mobilization of the donor community is crucial to assist the African countries financially and technically.
International Committee of the Red Cross
Annex to Landmine Monitor 1999
Contribution of this Annex does not necessarily imply the association of the ICRC with views or statements made in other chapters of Landmine Monitor.
The International Committee of the Red Cross is an impartial, independent and neutral humanitarian organization whose mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance. It has a long history of providing medical care and treatment to war victims and in the development of international humanitarian law. The ICRC is pleased to have been invited to contribute to the Landmine Monitor project. This initiative represents another chapter in the unique relationship which has developed between governments, non-governmental organizations, international institutions and private individuals in response to the global epidemic of landmine injuries. The Landmine Monitor is an important instrument both in measuring progress in addressing the landmine crisis and in identifying the challenges which remain. It will undoubtedly be a valuable resource for all those working in this area. The ICRC has prepared this annex as a complement to other information provided in Landmine Monitor. This ICRC contribution provides an overview of the institution's mine-related activities, highlights some of the constraints facing mine action in the field and raises a number of technology-related issues which need to be addressed to ensure that the purpose and objectives of the Ottawa treaty and of the broader efforts to solve the landmines problem are not undermined by new technologies.
Humanitarian diplomacy, victim assistance and mine awareness are the three main types of mine-related work that the ICRC is involved in. The institution's recent work in each field is outlined in the following sections.
2. HUMANITARIAN DIPLOMACY
In relation to landmines, humanitarian diplomacy involves promoting adherence to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on their Destruction (the Ottawa treaty) as well as amended Protocol II of the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). It also means assisting States in treaty implementation, working with States to ensure that the above treaties are not undermined by new technologies and advocacy on behalf of victims.
With the entry into force of the Ottawa treaty (1 March 1999) and amended Protocol II of the CCW (3 December 1998) a new set of international norms governing all landmines has been constructed. The Ottawa treaty established a comprehensiveprohibition on the use, development, production, stockpile and transfer of anti-personnel (AP) mines. It mandates the destruction of AP mine stockpiles, the clearing of mined areas, and the provision of victim assistance. The treaty is a complete prescription for addressing the AP mine problem. Implementing and universalizing its provisions must become a priority for the international community. Amended Protocol II must also be widely adhered to and implemented as it sets the minimum standards for the use of all types of mines, booby traps and similar devices. It must be recognized that these devices, in addition to AP mines and unexploded ordnance, have created what is known as the global "landmines" problem.
Promoting adherence and implementation
The ICRC has long been active in the development of international humanitarian law and in promoting adherence to international humanitarian law treaties. Perhaps best known are its efforts in the preparation and negotiations of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their additional protocols of 1977. The institution was also very active in the 1979-1980 preparatory meetings for the CCW and, as an expert observer, in the 1995-96 CCW Review Conference which resulted in the adoption of its amended Protocol II on landmines, booby traps and other devices and a new protocol on blinding laser weapons (Protocol IV).
At the opening of the 1994 preparatory meetings for the CCW Review Conference the ICRC called for a complete ban on APMs. In November 1995, for the first time in its history, the institution launched a public advertising campaign promoting this comprehensive prohibition. The objectives of this campaign were simple. Inform the general public of the horrific injuries caused by these weapons and their effects on communities in war-torn countries. Influencing public opinion was a key element in helping to create the political will necessary to bring a ban treaty to fruition. To this end, the ICRC employed a variety of electronic and print tools including, publications, public service announcements, videos, a traveling exhibition, kits and archive packs for press and news media and a web site. These tools and regular contact with pro-ban governments and organizations promoting a ban treaty, particularly the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), were used to supplement the ICRC's traditional legal-political efforts and helped make this advocacy campaign a ringing success. This work continues and now focuses in particular on encouraging adherence to the Ottawa treaty in regions where significant numbers of States have not yet signed or ratified the treaty.
A variety of publications have been produced for the general public and specialized audiences including medical and military personnel and policy makers. The table below indicates some of the major publications produced and distributed by the ICRC from their date of publication through March 1999.
Publication Year published No. distributed
The Silent Menace: Landmines 1998 10,118
in Bosnia and Herzegovina
(published with UNHCR)
Mines Overview - 1998 1998 8,050
Campaign Leaflet 1998 60,180
Assistance to Mine Victims 1998 1,050
ICRC physical rehabilitation
programs - 1997
Banning Anti-personnel Mines: 1997 7,613
the Ottawa Treaty Explained
Military Study - Publication 1996 13,355
Anti-personnel Landmines - Friend or Foe?
A study on the military use and effectiveness of anti-personnel mines
"Ratification Kits" for the Ottawa Treaty and for the CCW's amended Protocol II were produced in seven languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish). The former kit was distributed at the signing meeting of the Ottawa treaty in December 1997 and to State representatives throughout 1998. The kits included a short summary of the relevant treaties, useful both for the public and parliamentarians as well as guidelines for State adherence and implementation.
The ICRC also commissioned a series of advertisements for both print and electronic media. According to a 1996 estimate these advertisements had reached approximately 745 million people worldwide. A total of 10 print ads were developed, many of which appeared regularly in international press such as Time, Newsweek, The Financial Times, The Economist, Asia Week as well as local and regional publications. A total of 5 television announcements were developed and were regularly shown on international media including CNN International, BBC World, Canal Plus, Discovery International and Discovery Asia. All space for the placement of the print and television ads was donated and reflected the widespread belief that AP mines had to be stigmatized. In 1996, the value of donated ad space exceeded $2 million US.
ICRC also produced in 1998 a traveling exhibition to raise public awareness about the Ottawa treaty. Using easy to understand text, photos and graphics, it highlights and explains the main obligations of the treaty and since its inauguration in November 1998 it has been used by ICRC delegations, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and other organizations at conferences and other promotional events in Geneva, Belgrade, Mexico City and Beirut. The exhibition is available in English and Spanish and will be available in Arabic from May 1999. Organizations wishing to use the exhibit at events in their countries can contact the ICRC's Mines-Arms Unit.
Apart from the public advocacy aspects of its mines campaign, the ICRC also encouraged adherence to the Ottawa treaty and the CCW through contact with governmental authorities at national and regional levels. The ICRC organized or sponsored numerous meetings and seminars for governmental representatives. The most notable of these were the Budapest Regional Conference on Anti-personnel Mines hosted by the government of Hungary in March 1998 for defence and foreign affairs officials from 19 eastern and central European States, the Asia Regional Seminar on Anti-personnel Mines held in Manila, Philippines in July 1997 for over 30 military experts from the region and a meeting held in Harare in April 1997 for experts from countries of the Southern African Development Community. ICRC personnel also participated in scores of local, regional and international meetings on the mines issue. Many such meetings were supported with substantial amounts of ICRC documentation, videos and visual materials.
3. ASSISTANCE TO MINE VICTIMS
At the core of its activities the ICRC assists war wounded including, in many conflicts, a high proportion of mine victims. In conflict zones, the ICRC often furnishes existing health facilities with medicines, training, equipment or staff, or sets up independent ICRC medical facilities. In cooperation with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, it often helps evacuate the wounded for treatment in first-aid posts and medical facilities. In peacetime, the ICRC provides training to medical staff for the treatment and management of war wounds. The institution also sets up physical rehabilitation programs and workshops for prosthetics production. With specific regard to the treatment of mine victims, the ICRC is very active in providing both curative care and physical rehabilitation.
3.1 Curative Care
Curative care for mine victims extends from the evacuation of the wounded all the way to the discharge from hospital. Curative care, or the lack of it, is a function of the general capacity for medical care in a society torn by war or its aftermath. In many regions of the world many mine victims die before reaching any health facility.
The ICRC is supporting health facilities treating the war-wounded, including mine-injured, in Afghanistan, Angola, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Georgia, Iraq, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Support involves direct assistance to first-aid posts, hospitals and surgical facilities, evacuation of injured to and from medical facilities as well as training in the treatment of mine injuries to nurses, doctors and surgeons. A description of the institution's work in Afghanistan and Sudan, provided below, provides a good overview of the range of its activities in this area.
In view of the major humanitarian needs in Afghanistan, the ICRC entirely supports 5 major surgical facilities: the Karte Seh and the Wazir Akbar Khan hospitals in Kabul,the Jalalabad Public Health Hospital, the Mirwais hospital in Kandahar and the Ghazni Hospital. The ICRC supplies these facilities with surgical material and medicines, and covers the cost of maintenance, fuel and staff allowances. During 1998 alone, almost 40'000 surgical cases were admitted to these hospitals. More than 17'000 were war-wounded of which almost 2'000 were injured by APMs.
In the wake of fighting in northern Afghanistan during 1997, the ICRC increased its assistance to Mazar-i-Sharif and environs by, among other things, sending an expatriate medical team to assist and train local staff at the city's main surgical hospital, Ghazni hospital. ICRC also provided training for Afghan staff at Mirwais hospital in Kandahar and organized a war-surgery seminar for over 60 surgeons in the northern provinces. Seminars on amputation techniques, stump management and prosthetic/orthotics were also held in other hospitals around the country.
People injured in southern Sudan are often transported to the hospital in Lokichokio, Kenya where ICRC has concentrated its medical activities. During its 10 years of activity, the hospital has treated nearly 12'000 war casualties, many of whom are mine victims. During 1998 the facility admitted 1,901 patients, including 914 war-wounded of which 35 were mine victims.
In Juba, southern Sudan, access to proper medical care was hampered by lack of support from national health authorities and the direct consequences of the war. Upon resuming activities in Sudan after a period of absence, the ICRC began in August 1998 work on the rehabilitation of both the dispensary and the 500-bed Juba Teaching Hospital in order to provide more comprehensive surgical care to the general public and to extend the care to the war-wounded, including mine victims. At the end of August, a six-person surgical team and a laboratory technician arrived to complete the staff already working at the hospital. Ten expatriates are currently working at the hospital. The ICRC continued to supply lifesaving, essential drugs to Juba Teaching Hospital, provide food for work for medical staff. Since August, a total of 1'696 patients including 1'071 surgical cases, among them also mine victims, have been admitted to Juba Teaching Hospital.
The surgical management of mine-injured patients can be a challenge to even the most competent surgeon. Wounds such as these are not seen in civilian practice and they do not correspond to any of the modern surgical specialties. In fact, the treatment of wounded people in ICRC hospitals has become a specialty in its own right.
Independent ICRC hospitals have no onward referral; the patients stay until their surgical treatment is complete. There are no specialist surgeons; general surgeons work in accordance with basic surgical principles and, as a matter of policy, with a low level of technology. Defining the "standard" of care required for treating war-wounded is difficult. However, the standard attained in ICRC hospitals provides a minimum ofacceptable care whatever the circumstances. Hence the concept of "standard lists" of equipment and medicines and "standard procedures" which are promoted by the ICRC.
3.2. Physical rehabilitation
Providing a prosthesis for a mine victim is a crucial element in ensuring his or her rehabilitation and reintegration into society. In early 1999, the ICRC was running 25 physical rehabilitation programs in 13 countries: Afghanistan, Angola, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Georgia, Iraq, Kenya, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan and Uganda. The table below contains an overview of the production statistics for ICRC prosthetic/orthotic programs for those clinics operating in 1997 and 1998 including statistics on the number of prothesis specifically for mine victims.
ICRC prosthetic/orthotic programs : production statistics for 1997 and 1998
|D.R. Congo (4)||
(1) A "NEW FITTING" is a new patient or a new file which is counted only once in the statistics. When a patient receives a second prosthesis, this second prosthesis is counted in the column "PROSTHESES"
(2) A "PROSTHESIS" replaces a missing limb
(3) An "ORTHOSIS" supports a weak limb
In addition to the 25 programs it runs today, the ICRC continues to assist physical rehabilitation projects formerly run by it, but which have now been handed over to local organizations, government ministries, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies or non-governmental organizations. Resources for this assistance comes from the ICRC-administered Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD). During 1998, 33 projects benefited from material, technical assistance and training from the SFD and in total they produced some 8,134 prostheses and orthoses and 4,249 pairs of crutches, the majority for war-wounded including mine victims. Benefiting from this support were clinics in Chad, Colombia, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Syria, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.
A continuing ICRC objective is to set up training programs for local technicians to ensure continuity after the ICRC withdraws from a project. All these programs are run in cooperation with local partner organizations, mostly ministries of health and social welfare, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and private foundations.
4. MINE AWARENESS
The ICRC has operated mine awareness programs, since 1996, in Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. During 1998, mine awareness surveys were also carried out in Georgia, Sudan, Uganda and Afghanistan. New mine awareness programs were launched in Georgia and in the region of Nagorni Karabach in early 1999. The sections below highlight some of the institution's major programs in this field.
The ICRC's program in Azerbaijan, carried out as a project delegated to the Swedish Red Cross Society, is directed towards those living in front-line areas and in settlements for the displaced. The first phase of this program focussed on alerting the population to the danger of mines and to the mine problem in the area. Ten different relief agencies took part in the distribution of mine awareness material, and information was also handed out through the armed forces. Over 28,000 leaflets were distributed in seed kits between 1996 and 1998. More than 110,000 families received mine awareness information during spring and summer 1997. So far, 18,000 posters have been displayed in front-line villages and in settlements for displaced people.
The second phase aims at bringing more specific information and knowledge to the community. Since early autumn 1997, schoolchildren in front-line schools and in schools for the internally displaced have been targeted through mine awareness training given by their teachers. They have also received stickers, posters, timetables and exercise books bearing a mine awareness message. In late 1998 and as an additional tool for mine awareness training, an animated cartoon was produced on the subject of mine awareness So far, ICRC mine awareness officers have trained nearly 9,000 teachers in eight districts along the front-line and in areas throughout the country where internally displaced people have settled. More than 120,000 children will eventually be reached.
ICRC Mine awareness Teacher Training Presentations - Azerbaijan
October 1997- December 1998
|Oct. - Dec. 1997||
|Oct. - Dec. 1998||
4.2 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Launched in the spring of 1996, the ICRC mine awareness program in Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of four components:
- a community-based approach which seeks to encourage local communities to initiate mine awareness activities in their areas tailored to their own needs. For example, local Red Cross volunteers have organized summer camps focusing on mine awareness and first aid, theater shows for children, etc. Today, a dozen paid staff and more than 120 volunteers are implementing activities throughout the country;
- a mass media campaign which involves the distribution of leaflets, posters and brochures, plus 11 radio spots and 6 TV spots. Supported by local media which broadcast or publish mine awareness messages, it is backed up by mass distribution of information materials in the communities at risk;
- a data-gathering component in which the ICRC - the only organization to do so - systematically gathers information on mine victims, including data on age, gender and activity at the time of injury. The data gathered should help the ICRC to improve targeting of future activities;
- a school-based program which, thanks to nearly universal school attendance, reaches the majority of children through the classroom. The ICRC has developed a school curriculum which is currently being implemented in Bosnian schools in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. In addition, it launched a nationwide drawing and essay competition in January 1997. The competition was intended to raise children's awareness of the dangers of mines and UXO and mobilize local communities, including Red Cross branches. Schools located in mine-affected areas and schools attended by children living in mine-affected villages were given priority for the competition.
The role of the two entity Red Cross organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the implementation of the Program and ensuring of its sustainability in the years to come is being enhanced by the development of their structures.
ICRC Data on Mine Victims
In Sarajevo, the ICRC operates a database where it stores information about people killed or injured by landmines during and after the war. The database provides details about the date and place of mine incidents, who was involved, what they were doing at the time and the extent of the injuries sustained. By 31 December 1998 it contained information on 3'862 people. Although the database is generally considered to be the largest and most detailed record of mine victims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, this figure represents only a fraction of the total number of people affected. This is because it is difficult to comprehensively record mine casualties and, especially during the war, few hospitals kept any such records. However, as the database includes information from all parts of the country, it supplies an important overall picture of the impact of landmines on the population. As in other conflicts, civilians in Bosnia and Herzegovina have suffered heavily form the use of these devices. This information is shared with the national Mine Action Center as well as other organizations involved in victim assistance. The table below indicates the number of mine victims by month from 1992-1998. Statistics for the end of 1998 have not yet been calculated. These figures reflect an encouraging downward trend in the number of mine incidents from a peak monthly average of 64 in 1994 to 14 in the first two-thirds of 1998.
Number of MVs in B&H per month
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998
Jan. 8 63 61 32 58 15 12
Feb. 5 22 43 30 31 17 8
Mar. 2 45 76 33 102 56 34
Apr. 9 58 83 36 99 36 23
May. 34 65 82 58 59 31 17
Jun. 69 77 89 92 56 28 9
July. 68 92 67 99 58 24 10
Aug. 142 60 60 75 48 23 15
Sep. 113 45 62 84 27 13
Oct. 80 61 53 55 31 20 2
Nov. 103 51 58 19 22 8
Dec. 77 62 37 17 22 6
TOTAL 710 701 771 630 613 277 130
AVERAGE 59.17 58.42 64.25 52.5 51.08 23.08 14.44
The Croatian mine awareness program was jointly launched in March 1996 by the ICRC and the Croatian Red Cross (CRC). This community-based program works through the network of CRC branches to reach population groups most at risk - such as returnees, children and farmers. It specifically aims to change people's behavior in order to prevent mine and UXO-related accidents. It is planned to gradually hand the program over to the CRC, which will continue coordinating the program in all affected areas of Croatia and ensure its long-term sustainability.
In 1998, over 50'000 people were reached through mine awareness presentations. Fruitful cooperation is ongoing with the print and broadcast media, as are the production and distribution of new generations of mine awareness publications and materials. In a repeat of 1996, when 115'000 leaflets and 10,000 posters were distributed and info-spots were broadcast nationwide on television and 25 radio stations, 1998 saw the distribution of some 100,000 pocket-size leaflets on security. An illustrated brochure, calendar and fact sheet were also produced. In addition, during 1999 all ICRC personnel working in mine-affected communities will participate in workshops aimed at strengthening their communication skills, with representatives of the regional media attending as facilitators and observers.
The program is constantly evolving and adapting to changing needs. Recruitment and training programs for volunteer instructors now include modules on presentation techniques, interactive skills, community participation and cooperation with demining experts. Volunteers from the mine-affected communities are coordinated by local CRC branches. They are key to the MAP's long-term sustain ability.
5. THE ROLE OF THE RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT MOVEMENT
The entire International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent has been actively involved in responding to the landmine problem. Many National Societies were engaged in the public campaign promoting the development of a comprehensive AP mine ban and continue to play an active role by encouraging and assisting their governments with treaty ratification and implementation. Some National Societies have taken over ICRC rehabilitation clinics in mine affected countries. Indeed, under the terms of the Ottawa treaty the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent is recognised as having a role to play in victim assistance and mine awareness. Article 6 encourages States Parties to provide assistance for the care and rehabilitation of mine victims and for mine awareness programs through the International Committee of the Red Cross, national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies and their International Federation, as well as through non-governmental organizations and international bodies.1
The International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent is currently preparing a long-term Movement strategy on the various components of mine action. In short, the strategy will outline the goals of the Movement's mines-related work and propose a division of labour among the various component bodies. National Societies are well-placed to encourage adherence and implementation of the Ottawa treaty by their governments and, along with their International Federation, to conduct mine awareness and victim assistance following armed conflict. The ICRC's mandate and expertise support a special emphasis by the institution on medical care and treatment during conflict, the monitoring of treaty interpretations and new technological developments, promoting adherence on regional or international levels and the creation of training tools for the medical care of war-wounded and mine awareness. The long-term Movement strategy, currently in draft form, is to be discussed and adopted by the Movement's Council of Delegates in October 1999.
6. CONSTRAINTS AND CHALLENGES
6.1 Adequate care for mine victims
During or after a war, the treatment and rehabilitation of mine victims will in most cases reflect the general availability or lack of basic health and social services for all. Much needs to be done to reinforce these services in mine-infested countries, particularly where there are large numbers of victims, as the care of amputees places enormous demands on medical resources and often overburdens an already fragile health-care system. In other words, the treatment and rehabilitation of mine victims depend to a large degree on the state of a country's health and social sectors.
Security is another major constraint. Many organizations are not able to work in certain areas because of the security situation. Lack of cooperation from the political and administrative authorities may further hinder the work of those wanting to assist victims. The availability of donor funds may be conditional on agencies working in one area rather than another, or on treating one specific category of victims. These are just some examples of the numerous constraints that may result in mine victims receiving inadequate care, an issue that must be addressed urgently and coherently.
A further obstacle to dealing with the human and socio-economic consequences of landmines is the lack of hard data available on the severity of the mine problem. The ICRC believes that there is an urgent need to standardize and systematize the collection of data by the various players concerned (UN agencies, NGOs, the ICRC and politicaland military authorities). To this end it has proposed an integrated approach towards the analysis of data, a "Mines Information System", to allow for the planning of priorities in any country, one province and one district at a time, and enable operational programs to be implemented effectively. Addressing these constraints is also a prerequisite for implementing effective preventive measures, such as mine awareness and mine-clearance programs.
In the field of data collection, the ICRC and the World Health Organization (WHO) have prepared a joint technical paper on "Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation of Mine Victims". This paper outlines a strategy for health services needed to care for trauma victims, including those injured by APMs, during both conflict and post-conflict periods. The ICRC has also served as a technical advisor to WHO in the establishment of epidemiological surveillance tools with respect to mine victims.
6.2 Ottawa Treaty Interpretation: "Transit" of AP mines
Full and consistent application of the Ottawa treaty is an important element in maintaining political support for this treaty. Differing interpretations of the treaty's provisions should be minimized and be consistent with its object and purpose. The ICRC is concerned about any interpretation which could undermine the treaty's comprehensive prohibitions. One concern is a reading of the treaty in such a manner so as to permit non-party States to transit AP mines through the territory of a State Party. Some have expressed the view that such action is allowable since "transit" is not expressly prohibited under the terms of the treaty.
In the opinion of the ICRC, permitting the transit of AP mines through the territory of a State Party would undermine the object and purpose of the Ottawa treaty and contradict its prohibition on assisting anyone in the stockpiling and use of AP mines. While "transit" itself is not explicitly listed as a prohibited activity, Article 1(c) of the treaty provides clearly that a State Party is never under any circumstances to "assist, encourage or induce, in any way, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Convention".2 The ICRC believes that permitting or assisting the transit of AP mines through the territory of a State Party, by provision of transport infrastructure or other means, constitutes assistance in the stockpiling of AP mines and is prohibited.
Whether or not one considers "transit" to also violate the Ottawa treaty's explicit ban on "transfer" of AP mines will also depend on whether the separate elements of the definition of transfers is understood individually or cumulatively. That is, whether under Article 2 transfer must involve both the "physical movement of anti-personnel mines into or from national territory" and " transfer of title to and control over the mines" or is rather constituted by either of these actions.
6.3 Anti-vehicle mines and anti-handling devices3
The Ottawa process and the swift entry into force of the Ottawa treaty reflect the international community's commitment to addressing the massive humanitarian costs of AP mines. However, it is widely recognized that the use of anti-vehicle (AV) mines is an important aspect of the humanitarian problem and should remain a concern. In many regions of the world these devices are used indiscriminately and kill and wound innocent civilians, hinder the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the rebuilding of war-torn areas. In short, while AV mines have been deployed in smaller numbers than AP mines they have a major humanitarian impact. Of particular concern are AV mines which can function in a similar manner to AP mines as a result of being equipped with sensitive anti-handling devices or fusing mechanisms. While AV mines are not covered by the Ottawa treaty, they are regulated by Protocol II of the 1980 UN Convention on Conventional Weapons and its amended version adopted 3 May 1996, and the general norms of international humanitarian law.
A. Anti-vehicle mines with anti-handling devices
Experts consulted by the ICRC believe that there will be increased use of anti-handling devices (AH) on AV mines now that States are prohibiting the use of AP mines by their armed forces. AP mines were often laid to prevent the lifting of AV mines by enemy forces and militaries are now likely to rely on AH devices to fulfill this function. In addition, due to improved technology and production methods, the cost of such devices is lower today than in the past. Such mines can now be deployed in massive numbers by remote delivery, making marking, mapping and fencing impossible.
The ICRC believes that increased use of certain AH devices, particularly on remotely delivered AV mines which will lie on the surface, will threaten civilian populations. Of specific concern are AH devices which will trigger the mine's detonation through the innocent passage of a person over or near the mine or through inadvertent or accidental contact with the mine itself. This threat is particularly serious with regard to remotely delivered surface laid mines. In such cases the AH device can cause the AV mine to function as an AP mine.
B. Sensitive fuses on anti-vehicle mines
Another concern is the use of AV mines which employ fusing mechanisms which are so sensitive that they can easily be triggered by individual persons. Such devices include trip wires, break wires, tilt rods and some magnetic fuses. In some cases onlya small amount of pressure is required to activate the fuse and thus the mine can be triggered by the passage of or contact with a person. Some pressure activated AV blast mines only require 50-100 kg of pressure and will explode under the weight of adult who happens to step on it.
It is the opinion of the ICRC that any AV mine which functions as an AP mine, that is which is capable of being detonated "by the presence, proximity or contact of a person", is an AP mine and is prohibited by the Ottawa treaty. This is the case irrespective of the primary purpose for which the mine is intended to be used.
C. Proposals on anti-vehicle mines
Technical experts have indicated that there are ways to avoid or lessen some of the potential hazards posed by AV mines in general, and those mentioned above specifically. These include:
1) ensuring that all AV mines are detectable and self-destruct or self neutralize within a short time period ( a proposal supported by a large number of States involved in the review process of the CCW from 1994-1996);
2) ensuring that AV mines equipped with AH devices are designed so as to minimize the likelihood of detonation resulting from innocent or inadvertent contact;
3) ensuring that tripwires, breakwires and tilt rods are not used as fusing mechanisms for AV mines;
4) ensuring that pressure activated AV mine fuses will not activate under less than 150 kilograms of pressure.
As these options are technically feasible and will significantly reduce the landmines threat for civilian populations, the ICRC urges States to review existing and planned acquisitions and deployments of AV mines to ensure that the precautions above are taken. The ICRC intends to promote acceptance of these measures at upcoming meetings of States Parties to the Ottawa treaty and to amended Protocol II of the CCW.
In addition, the ICRC calls upon all States to mark and map the location of AV mines and ensure their removal at the end of hostilities as required by amended Protocol II of the CCW.
Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining
Overall objectives and organisation
As a contribution in kind towards the relief of the socio-economic catastrophe caused by millions of landmines, the Swiss Government has decided to create and fund an institution aimed at reinforcing international co-operation in the field of humanitarian demining: the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GIC). The overall aims of the GIC are to support the United Nations in their role as focal point for mine action and to exploit and further the expertise of all organisations working in mine action, in a fully supportive and non-competitive way. The GIC was formally established on April 28, 1998, and was given four main tasks, namely:
the development and introduction of an Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) focused on the needs of the United Nations. The IMSMA will provide the UN with improved capabilities for decision-making and information policy related to mine action.
the organisation and funding of annual meetings for mine action managers and other stake-holders in order to give the Chief of the UNMAS, in his capacity as focal point for mine action within the UN system, the possibility to address once a year programme managers, representatives of UN agencies and other field organisations, as well as to promote exchange on practical experience gained in the field.
the development of management training in close co-ordination with the UN.
the establishment of a study group, to examine and assess problems in mine action in four main areas of activity: the socio-economic, the analysis of operations, the development of management training and advances in technical equipment and technology.
The main guidance for the GIC is provided by the Council of Foundation. Seventeen governments actively involved in the field of mine action are members of the Council. The Council meets twice yearly, in order to define the strategy of the GIC and to endorse the work programme.
In addition, an advisory board has been set up to allow for a periodical dialogue with stake-holders other than government representatives.
Since the end of March 1999, the Centre has been established in its premises in Geneva. Some sixteen staff members are currently working with the GIC, including three experts seconded by France, Germany and the UK. In addition, a decentralized unit of three technical experts, dealing with the development of IMSMA, is based in Zurich, at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
The GIC is mainly funded by the Swiss Government. Additional financial support has been provided by the foundation “Pro Victimis”, the Principality of Liechtenstein, and most recently, by a generous contribution from the Norwegian Government.
Activities and perspectives
The IMSMA consists of two modules:
a Field Module to facilitate the acquisition and collation of information at field level, and the reporting of such information to UN Headquarters;
a Headquarter module to facilitate information collation, processing and dissemination at UN HQ level.
The first version of the Field Module underwent successful trials in Somalia (Hargeisa and Burao) in late November 1998. The first release was verified by the UN in late January and the final version has been introduced in Yemen early March 1999. This version has been used for conducting Level 1 Surveys. In spite of additional requirements for the Level 1 surveys, the first Release of the Field Module has been available since April 1999 for general use and it is planned that the next Field Module will be delivered to the Canadian Government for use in Mozambique. After the first Release is finished, work will begin to add additional functionality and it is envisaged that the second Release of the Field Module will be available in autumn 1999. The initial requirements for the Headquarter Module will be defined by the UN in late Spring 1999 and development of the Headquarter Module will start immediately after the definition of these requirements.
The first UN/GIC meeting of Mine Action Managers and UN representatives was held in March 1998, in Geneva, with representatives of seven field programmes. The second meeting was held from 23rd to 27th of February 1999 with representatives of fourteen field programmes. Participation has been opened out to the ICRC and demining NGOs.
Regarding the management training, the tasks of the GIC will be defined acording to the results of the training needs analysis recently carried out by the UNMAS and the UNDP.
The study group has launched a first major study for donors and victim states on the funding of mine action programmes. The study aims at providing guidance for the assessment of proposals for mine action programmes. This topic was endorsed by the Council of Foundation during its first meeting, in November 1998. In parallel the Study group is currently conducting three smaller studies on the assessment and performance of mine action agencies, the cost-effectiveness of mine clearance equipments and risk reduction in mine affected areas. These short studies should be available by July 1999.
Fruitful contacts have been established with various stake-holders in the demining community (international organisations, ICRC, NGOs, field programme managers and advisers, commercial companies). The participation at numerous conferences and seminars have given opportunities to present the GIC’s activities and to enlarge the GIC co-operation network. The GIC has also been asked to join ad-hoc working groups such as the Level 1 Survey Working Group and the UN/US/EU Working Group on Technical Trials.
A GIC website was created in September 1998 and was temporarily hosted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. The GIC homepage has now its own address(www.gichd.ch) and will be further developed this year. In addition to framework documents on the GIC, the website will disseminate general and specific information on mine action.
Global Landmine Survey Programme
After almost a decade of humanitarian mine action,, the global landmine problem remains ill defined. A fair amount is known about the suspected location of mine fields, but little is known about the impact of landmines on communities. Without information about impact, it is impossible to develop effective strategies that seek to minimize the human and economic costs these weapons inflict. If the terror of landmines must be contained within years, as envisioned by the Ottawa Treaty, rather than in decades as assumed in the early days of mine action programs, then better information is an immediate and unavoidable requirement.
A Global Landmine Survey [Level One General Impact Survey] will:
· provide data for improved planning in existing programs and for overall national plan setting where no programs exist;
· provide data for more rational targeting of international donor resources; and
· provide quantifiable baseline data and progress indicators for all mine action programs.
In a unique cooperative effort, the NGO community, in collaboration with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GIC), established the Survey Working Group in May 1998. The Survey Working Group (SWG) facilitates the international coordination of resources and expert personnel for the completion of Level One General Mine Surveys in the ten most mine affected countries.
The Survey Working Group has designated Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF) to manage and serve as fiscal agent for the Survey Action Center in the implementation of the Global Landmine Survey Program.
OBJECTIVE & DEFINITION
To facilitate the prioritizing of human, material and financial resources supporting humanitarian mine action at the national, regional and global level through the completion of Level One Mine/UXO Survey.
The objective as defined by the Survey Working Group, Burssels, June 98.
Level One General Mine/UXO Survey
This survey identifies the main outline of the landmine problem, down to the community level, through rapid rural appraisal techniques developed by NGOs and international institutions for general development and emergency programs. It focuses on community knowledge and perception of the social and economic impact of mines within their communities and the general location of contaminated or suspected areas. On the ground level this survey is carried out by trained enumerators from the local area with no specialized mine action training other than mine awareness training.
Through a controlled group interview process, the interviewers will gather information about mine victims, suspected mined areas, and the socio-economic impact of these mined areas. Because they lack the technical expertise to enter mined areas or assist victims, the interviewers will stop their inquiries at this general level. This information is collated and entered into a Geographic Information System (GIS) that will allow economic and geographic data to be integrated into map overlays that will permit a variety of analysis and interpretation. An indexing system will provide a community risk profile based on three negative categories – victims, blockage of economic assets, blockage of infrastructure - and one positive factor - mine awareness programs in the community. The architecture for the indexing system will be open so that national and regional groups, or groups with a particular sectoral interest, can modify the system to meet their individual needs.
The completed survey will provide data for development of priorities and improved planning in existing programs and on overall national priority and works plans where no programs yet exist. The data will also provide a baseline against which to measure progress. The information provides policy makers at the national and international level with information down to the village level on the social and economic impact of mines on the lives and livelihoods of affected communities. Through this process, a ranking of problem areas can be identified geographically and mapped, thus permitting policy makers to focus efforts in the most affected areas first. This survey enables mine action specialists to specifically target programs for training, mine awareness, mine marking, level two survey, clearance, and victim assistance.
In a unique cooperative effort, the NGO community, in collaboration with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining and key donors, established an institutional mechanism specifically designed to facilitate the coordination of resources in 1998. The primary organizations committed to Level One Mine/UXO Surveys have joined in a collaborative arrangement to act as a resource multiplier to facilitate the survey process. The institutional mechanism consists of three basic components.
Survey Contact Group (SCG)
The Survey Contact Group is an open mailing list of a wide range of international organizations, NGOs and doors. A periodic e-mail newsletter keeps the group informed of survey activities.
Survey Working Group (SWG)
The Survey working Group advocates for the standardization of Level One Mine/UXO Survey, and facilitates strategic planning to implement surveys among NGOs, UN, Donors and Mine affected countries.
This group will review standards, principles, and policies on survey issues.
The core members of the Survey Working Group are as follows:
Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GIC) Switzerland
Handicap International (HI) Belgium & France
Landmine Survivors Network (LSN) USA
Medico International (MI) Germany
Mines Advisory Group (MAG) United Kingdom
Mine Clearance Planning Agency (MCPA) Afghanistan
Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA) Norway
United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) United Nations
Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF) USA
Survey Executive (SE)
The Survey Executive consults and reports to the Survey Working Group, providing guidance to and reviewing the process of ongoing surveys and the Survey Action Center. The Survey Executive meets on a regular basis to plan future survey initiatives. The Survey Executive is comprised of the following members: Handicap International, Landmine Survivors Network, Mine Clearance Planning Agency, Norwegian Peoples Aid, and the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation.
Survey Action Center (SAC)
The SAC is managed by the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation and acts as the focal point for resource planning and mobilization. The SAC raises funds to implement or sub-contract Level One Mine/UXO Surveys. The SAC implements Survey Task Force and Survey Working Group policies, standards and executive decisions and regularly reports on progress to the Survey Executive and Survey Working Group.
The Global Landmine Survey process is funded through a variety of channels. The flexibility of this approach opens innovative avenues for the donor community to commit resources. Funds can be directly channeled through the United Nations or the United Nation Foundation. The United Nations Foundation match fund of up to $3.8 million for surveys allows the donor to see contributions multiply rather than decrease from administrative costs. Additionally, the donor can directly fund the Survey Action Center or an NGO committed to conducting a survey under the SAC’s overall direction.
To date, the following sources have provided funding:
Compton Foundation United Nations Foundation
Governement of Canada [CIDA] US Dept. of State [PM/HDP]
MacArthur Foundation VVAF
Public Welfare Foundation World Bank
UN Country Assessment Mission
United Nations Mine Action Service is conducting a series of assessments in mine afflicted nations to determine the nature of the problem and affirm the host nations support for Humanitarian Mine Action. The recommendations provided from this process indicate the need for Level One Mine/UXO Survey. UNMAS begins the process to promote the establishment of a sustainable National Mine Action Programme.
Survey Advance Mission
UMAS requests the Survey Action Center to mobilize an Advance Mission to the identified mine affected country. The Advance Mission establishes liaison with government authorities to implement a Level One Mine/UXO Survey. Information is collected to assist in detailed planning of survey operations. Advance Mission Survey Reports are distributed to the Survey Working Group. The Survey Action Center prepares a full proposal and plan to conduct a survey.
Funds are raised through lobby efforts of the Survey Working Group and United Nations to meet the requirements identified by the Advance Mission and survey proposal. Implementing partners are mobilized to conduct or support the survey.
Country Survey Implementation
The Level One Mine/UXO Survey is conducted according to the guidelines established by the Survey Working Group. The survey is monitored to ensure quality and the results are presented to UNMAS for certification.
The results of the survey are transparent by wide distribution and access. The International Mine Action Information System will display and make available all data. The Survey Action Center will display the data on the Internet.
Brussels I Meeting May 98
The formation of the nine-member Survey Working Group has provided the credibility and strength for this programme. This special group displayed its confidence by the unanimous decision for VVAF to manage the Survey Action Center. Additionally, Handicap International France & Belgium seconded a Survey Technical Advisor to the Survey Action Center.
Brussels II Meeting June 98
The Survey Working Group sets the agenda by standardizing survey requirements worldwide. A Survey Task Force and Survey Action Center are formed to expedite theimplementation of surveys. Guidelines, principles and standards are established for Level One Mine/UXO Survey which are approved by the United Nations Mine Action Service. Information groups including socio-economic impact study of the mine problem relative to affected communities are embedded in this agreement.
Mine Action Support Group Aug 98
The United Nations Mine Action Service invites the Survey Action Center to address the Country Representatives of the Mine Action Support Group and present the Global Landmine Programme strategy. This effort generally recognizes the Survey Action Center as a viable implementation mechanism to expedite Level One General Mine/UXO Surveys.
World Bank Initiative Aug 98
The World Bank provides a forum for survey experts to discuss Level One Mine/UXO Survey techniques and develop criteria for key indicators to measure impact of landmines on communities. The meeting/workshop was co-chaired by the Survey Action Center and the World Bank Post Conflict Division.
US Government Grant to Support Survey Action Center Sep 98
The US State Department Political-Military Humanitarian Demining office approves the Survey Action Center proposal to fund the Set-Up Phase for 298,000 USD from the 1998 fiscal budget.
UN Foundation Sep 98
The UN Foundation and Survey Action Center in joint consultation developed an innovative funding approach to support Landmine Survey. This measure provides the impetus for the United Nations to stream-line funding channels dedicated for Level One General Mine/UXO Survey, reducing time and administrative costs of traditional UN funding structures. Furthermore, this process provides a match fund attracting donors to contribute to the Global Landmine Survey Programme.
UNMAS Funds Yemen Level One Mine/UXO Survey Oct 98
A $1.0 Million Canadian Government contribution to the United Nations Trust Fund is earmarked to support a Level One Mine/UXO Survey in Yemen by the Survey Action Center.
Canada Funds Mozambique Survey Nov 98
CIDA announces a request for proposals
to conduct a Level One Mine/UXO Survey in Mozambique, and the Survey Action
Center provides technical guidance to tenders. Canadian International Demining
Center meets the proposal requirements and is nominated to conduct the
Survey Action Center, Advance Mission Team to Yemen Dec 98
Survey Action Center launches an Advance Mission Team to Yemen, to establish collaborative arrangements with national authorities and collect information for a Level One Mine/UXO Survey. The United Nations Mine Action Service and United NationsDevelopment Programme provided access and support for this mission. The US Department of Defense Central Command, Special Operation Team, also assisted this Advance Mission Team in Yemen.
Norwegian Peoples Aid & Medico International Advance Mission, Western Sahara Jan 99
Jointly NPA & MI launch an Advance Mission Team to Western Sahara with the same mission goals as the Yemen mission. This mission begins the standardization of STF field operations. The joint NPA & MI mission report will be published in March 99.
Canadian International Demining Center (CIDC) Feb 99
Survey Action Center and CIDC agree to cooperate on the quality assurance monitoring of this project to ensure UNMAS certification and sign an agreement to implement a process
International Mine Action Information System Database Jan-Feb 99
Series of workshops are initiated to develop the field module of the GIHDC database to include Level One Mine/UXO Survey data fields in preparation for implementation in Yemen and Mozambique.
CURRENT STATUS & FUTURE PLANNING
Western Sahara Advance Mission conducted by Norwegian Peoples Aid and Medico International is complete and the report will be published in March 99. The next Advance Mission will possibly be in Chad at the request of the UNDP Mine Action Center Programme Manager in Chad Planning is ongoing for further missions in collaboration with UNMAS. The next tier of countries under consideration is Nicaragua, Ecquador and Peru
Canadian International Demining Center is planning and preparing to conduct the Mozambique survey in 1999. CIDA and the Survey Action Center are working in close collaboration on Quality Assurance Monitoring of this project.
Yemen Survey Proposal is under review by UNMAS and the UN Trust Fund for implementation. Further country surveys are planned based on completed UN Country Assessment Missions and the ongoing assessment process.
By focusing on community impact rather than the absolute number of mines in the ground, the Global Landmine Survey process provides the mine action community with new tools with which to prioritize work and to measure progress.
Survey and Advance Teams
The Global Landmine Survey, launched one year ago, has begun survey work in two countries, Yemen and Mozambique. The Survey Action Center is considering the formation of Advance Teams for Chad, Nicaragua, Equador and Peru. Discussions are underway with the Cambodian Mine Action Centre concerning cooperation on a Level One Survey for Cambodia. It is planned that ten mine-affected countries will be surveyed with two years.
A solid funding base has been established
and needs to be expanded to continue the process.
Physicians for Human Rights
Tools for Measuring the Magnitude of the Landmine Problem for Victim Assistance
Epidemiological based surveys are essential for properly quantifying the public health consequences of landmines. The results of such studies facilitate the allocation of resources and aid in evaluating the impact of interventions. The development of standardized survey tools will help to ensure that data collection proceeds according to appropriate scientific methods and allow the comparison of data between differing regions and countries.
Two core tools were developed by:
World Health Organization
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)
International Committee of the Red Cross
Injury Control Center-Uganda
London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
ICBL Member Organizations
These core tools measure the morbidity and mortality associated with landmine injuries and collect information on demographics, device type, pre-hospital care, transportation time and treatment. The first tool is a hospital surveillance survey that integrates into a broader WHO injury surveillance system. The second tool is a community survey undertaken with WHO disease specific sampling techniques. These tools are for data collection as part of an ongoing surveillance system or as sample surveys that are repeated over time. WHO is coordinating the pilot testing of these tools in collaboration with the above mentioned organizations. We hope that these tools will identify areas where landmine injuries are a significant problem and thus target regions where more intensive Level 1 Surveys and other interventions should be undertaken.
PHR and other ICBL members have also developed an additional set of tools to measure:
Pre-hospital care and hospital capabilities
Rehabilitation and social reintegration of landmine victims
The participants in this project encourage Landmine Monitor, UNMAS and other governmental or non-governmental organizations to use these tools or modify then as they see fit. They can be used to supplement the findings of a Level 1 Survey or provide data on areas that require further humanitarian mine action assessment. The tools are formatted for the “Epi-Info” system in order to facilitate data entry and centralized analysis. They were meant to be easy to use and inexpensive to administer.
WHO with the help of PHR and other organizations will shortly publish a user’s manual with specific instructions on sampling, data entry and analysis. This manual will provide detailed instructions on answering questions and give interviewer techniques to avoid nonessential and possibly negative interactions with landmine victims.
Core Survey Tools:
Hospital Surveillance of Landmine Injuries:
This tool easily integrates into a WHO injury surveillance system. The goal is to establish a global reporting system where injury data is collected and then transmitted either to centers in Ministries of Health or to international organizations that are responsible for the analysis and dissemination of data. This tool records data on landmine victims at the time they present to a hospital or, if proper records are available, from operating room records and patient charts. In addition, this tool can establish baseline information for repeat surveys undertaken at intervals in the future.
Community Survey of Landmine Injuries:
This survey tool allows for sampled analysis of mine-affect areas and provides information regarding case fatality rates, incidence, prevalence, and the effect landmine injuries have on communities. By using the WHO-EPI cluster technique and random sampling, accurate and scientific data collection can be undertaken to minimize the expenditure of resources, time and money.
Secondary Survey Tools
Country Capacity Overview
This tool collects national data on populations, health facilities and landmine affected regions. The information collected helps to administer the other surveys.
Community Key Informant Survey
This tool collects data from interviews with community leaders or village chiefs to determine areas most affected by landmines and to help determine sample sites for the Community Survey.
Hospital Capability Survey
This tool assesses the capacity of hospitals providing surgical care in regions affected by landmines. The data collected will help in the allocation of donor funding for specific projects or to individual facilities in need of necessary equipment and supplies.
Orthopedic/Rehab Center Capability Survey
This tool assesses the capacity of orthopedic and rehab centers in order to determine where improvements and resources are needed.
Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Survey
This survey tool randomly samples landmine victims based upon hospital or orthopedic and rehab center records. The information provided will help in determining the specific needs of individuals and the effectiveness of on-going rehabilitation programs with respect to the type of injury, prosthetic care, housing, education, employment and rehabilitation.
International Customary Law and Antipersonnel Landmines: Emergence of a New Customary Norm
Susan Benesch, Glenn McGrory, Cristina Rodriguez, Robert Sloane
Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, Yale Law School
I. Why Is Customary International Law Important For a Ban on Antipersonnel Landmines?
There are two primary sources of international law, treaties and custom.1 Custom -- law that develops from commonly agreed-upon rules of behavior -- 2 is important for the ban against antipersonnel landmines, because of a critical attribute that distinguishes it from treaty law. Whereas a treaty legally binds only those states which are parties, in most cases customary international law constrains all states,3 even those that have not agreed to it.4
If the Mine Ban Treaty’s 5 prohibitions on the production, use and transfer of landmines become part of customary international law, then, states that are not party to the treaty will bear a legal obligation to obey those prohibitions. For that reason, now that a ban on antipersonnel landmines is established as treaty law, we believe the next step is to work toward the crystallization of a customary international law ban on landmines.
To that end, this paper will explain the nature of customary law and its formation, and then will examine the state of that law with respect to landmines. We will consider the following questions: is there a customary international norm6 against the use of antipersonnel landmines now, and if not, can we expect such a norm to emerge in the future? If so, when?
The most powerful force toward the establishment of custom on landmines is the Mine Ban Treaty itself. Treaties are often the first step in the formation of custom, especially when, as in this case, they express consensus on the part of an extraordinary number of states. 7 “Not only do [treaties] carve out law for the immediate parties, but they also have a profound impact upon general customary law for nonparties,”8 as the scholar Anthony D’Amato has noted. Once a rule attains the status of customary international law, states may not unilaterally repudiate it,9 and newly emerging states will be deemed to accede to the rule as a condition of statehood.10
This paper will show that there is rapid momentum toward a customary norm against the use of antipersonnel landmines. It is difficult to predict how quickly the norm will crystallize, and any prediction would immediately become the subject of debate, but we think most legal scholars and practitioners would agree that a customary prohibition against landmines will crystallize in the near future.
The International Campaign to Ban Landmines and other advocates can use customary law to argue that states should sign the treaty. If a ban on landmines is likely to emerge soon as customary international law, as we argue, there are two good reasons for states to sign and ratify the convention and begin work toward compliance. First, they will avoid being caught in violation of a binding customary norm. Second, if states will be constrained by the new custom anyway, they will do better to enjoy the benefits of participation in the Landmine Ban treaty regime, including the “exchange of equipment, material and scientific and technological information” for mine-clearance, and the opportunity to propose amendments to the Convention.11
These arguments are becoming stronger with each extra signature, ratification, or decision to forsake the use of antipersonnel landmines, since those steps bring the international community closer to a customary norm against the weapons.
What is Customary International Law and How is it Formed?
According to Oppenheim, one of the most widely-recognized authorities in international law, a custom is “a clear and continuous habit of doing certain actions which has grown up under the aegis of the conviction that these actions are, according to international law, obligatory or right.”12 Custom is law not because it is printed on paper, but because states practice it, and because their officials believe it to be law.13 A sometimes slippery concept, custom plays an especially large role in international law, where there is no legislature to codify law.(Treaty-writing is often a slow and unwieldy process.)
The formation of custom – how and when a new norm becomes part of customary international law – is the reason for custom’s ‘slippery’ reputation, since it is so difficult to pinpoint. It has become the subject of substantial debate.14 In particular, scholars and judges debate the relationship between customary international law and treaties, focusing on when and how treaties can give rise to custom.
There have been undeniable changes in the formation of international treaty law, brought on in large measure by the human rights movement. The Mine Ban Treaty itself is one of the most prominent demonstrations of new methods for drafting international treaties, and for seeing them into law.15 The Mine Ban Treaty proved that treaties can be negotiated faster than ever before, but this does not necessarily mean that custom on landmines will form faster. And since treaties are more tangible than custom, it is easier to track changes in the formation of treaties than changes in the formation of custom.
The key questions for our purposes are: what actions or statements, by states or other bodies, are now considered evidence of custom? Where is the threshold between custom and non-custom, if it is possible to find one? To answer these questions, this section will outline the traditional understanding of custom and its formation. Then it will examine cases in which custom forms before a practice has become universal, since that is likely to happen in the case of the antipersonnel landmines ban. We willthen consider whether any state can exempt itself from a future customary norm against antipersonnel landmines by becoming a ‘persistent objector.’ Finally, we will discuss the ways in which treaties can give rise to customary international law.
The formation of custom: practice and opinio juris
1. General Standards
The traditional starting-point for discussions of customary international law is also the most widely-recognized statement as to the sources of international law: Article 38(1) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice.16 The article lists four sources of law:
a. international conventions, whether general or particular, establishing rules expressly recognized by the contesting States;
b. international custom, as evidence of a general practice accepted as law;
c.he general principles of law recognized by civilized nations;
d. subject to the provisions of Article 59, judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists of the various nations, as subsidiary means for the determination of rules of law.
Since custom is not codified or printed, like a treaty, it must be identified in a different and more complex way. The formulation quoted in Article 38(1)(b), “international custom as evidence of a general practice accepted as law,” includes the two classic requirements for customary international law: practice and opinio juris. 17 Practice refers to the conduct of a state -- whether it uses antipersonnel landmines, for example. Opinio juris, short for opinio juris sive necesitatis, can be translated as ‘a conviction that a rule is obligatory.’ It refers to state officials’ sense of a legal obligation to follow a certain practice, and it is sometimes called the ‘belief element.’
Practice can be universal and still not establish custom, if there is no opinio juris in favor of the practice. Widespread practice without opinio juris is often called ‘usage’. Examples are ceremonial salutes at sea and the cancellation of parking tickets issued to diplomatic cars.18 While states commonly do these things, no one would claim that they must do them. This distinction between usage and custom reaches back to the French scholar Francois Gény’s use of the phrase to differentiate legal custom from usage or mere social custom.19
International courts have repeatedly affirmed the critical role played by opinio juris in custom. In the 1927 Lotus Case, the Permanent Court of International Justice considered whether custom had formed on a question of jurisdiction, after a French ship and a Turkish ship collided, killing eight Turkish nationals. Turkey began to prosecute the first officer of the French ship, and France disputed Turkey’s jurisdiction to try him. The Court was asked to decide whether customary international law prohibited Turkey from trying the French officer. The fact that France had ‘abstained’ from trying him did not indicate custom, the court found, since there was no evidence of opinio juris. It held that “only if such abstention were based on [states’] being conscious of having a duty to abstain would it be possible to speak of an international custom.”20
In 1969 the International Court of Justice (which succeeded the earlier Permanent Court) affirmed the role of opinio juris in the North Sea Continental Shelf Cases. To decide the cases, the Court had to determine which provisions of the 1958 Geneva Convention on the Continental Shelf had become customary law by 1969, only 11 years after the Convention. It held that for a treaty provision to become customary, “two conditions must be fulfilled. Not only must the acts concerned amount to a settled practice, but they must also be such, or be carried out in such a way, as to be evidence of a belief that this practice is rendered obligatory by the existence of a rule of law requiring it…The states concerned must therefore feel that they are conforming to what amounts to a legal obligation.” 21 In 1986, the Court reaffirmed this notion of opinio juris, when it decided that under customary international law, the United States’ mining of Nicaraguan harbors and financial support for the contra war was illegal. In that decision, called the Case Concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities In and Against Nicaragua, the Court considered whether the principle of non-intervention in the affairs of other states had become custom. Regarding state actions that constitute custom, it held that “Either the States taking such action or other States in a position to react to it, must have behaved so that their conduct is ‘evidence of a belief that this practice is rendered obligatory by the existence of a rule of law requiring it.”22
Evidence of opinio juris can be found in any of several types of sources. Comments by state officials may indicate a sense of legal obligation to follow or not follow certain conduct. Opinio juris can also be found in General Assembly resolutions, and in other unilateral or collective statements. In the 1986 Nicaragua case, the International Court of Justice observed that state consent to General Assembly resolutions and other statements expressing norms embodied in a treaty should not be understood as mere “reiteration or elucidation” of treaty commitments. Rather, such expressions provide additional evidence that the state accepts the validity of thesenorms, and consequently, also evince an opinio juris supporting their status as customary international law. The “attitude referred to expresses an opinio juris respecting such rule (or set of rules), to be thenceforth treated separately from the provisions, especially those of an institutional kind, to which it is subject on the treaty-law plane . . .”23
It is important to note that an apparent contradiction, or Catch-22 is inherent in the doctrine: opinio juris is a prerequisite for customary law, but in order to produce opinio juris, state officials must be convinced that the law already exists. The paradox has been widely debated by scholars, some of whom dispute it. In any case the apparent paradox has “not prevented acceptance of customary law essentially as here defined.”24
Having described the nature of the traditional requirements for custom, we can now ask, to what extent is it possible to quantify them? How many states must follow a certain practice in the belief that it is law, for international customary law to crystallize? We know of no credible numeric rule. “How many States are required to establish ‘general’ practice and how frequent, numerous and consistent the practice must be are questions which cannot be answered in categorical propositions,” according to the scholar Oscar Schachter. “Generality, frequency, density, consistency, duration are in principle required but whether they are met in regard to a specific rule depends on the circumstances of the case." 25 Even if it is not possible to say that custom will have formed when a certain precise number of states has signed or ratified the Landmine Ban, we can draw clear conclusions about other requirements for custom, and, more encouragingly, about non-requirements.
No minimum length of time is required for the formation of custom
There is no minimum length of time required for the formation of custom, so the speed of the Landmine Ban process will not hinder the ban’s development into custom. In the North Sea Continental Shelf Cases, the International Court of Justice dismissed time as a requirement for the emergence of custom from conventions. The Court held that “even without the passage of any considerable period of time, a very widespread and representative participation in the convention might suffice of itself, provided it included that of States whose interests were specially affected.”26
Some scholars even argue that custom can form “instantly” on a new body of law, where there is no prior practice that has to change for custom to crystallize, and where a large number of states express unanimity. The most commonly cited example is theinternational law on outer space 27. Instant custom cannot be said to have formed in the case of antipersonnel landmines, since there was longstanding practice contrary to the new norm and since states did not reach consensus all at once.
On the lack of a time restriction, the scholar Ian Brownlie has commented: “Provided the consistency and generality of a practice are proved, no particular duration is required: the passage of time will of course be a part of the evidence of generality and consistency. A long (and, much less, an immemorial) practice is not necessary, and rules relating to airspace and the continental shelf have emerged from fairly quick maturing of practice.”28 The scholar Malcolm Shaw concurs: “in international law there is no rigid time element and it will depend upon the circumstances of the case and the nature of the usage in question.”29
Not all states must consent to a norm of customary international law
There is also “broad agreement that general custom does not require universal consent of States.”30 In the Nicaragua case described above, the International Court of Justice held specifically, “The Court does not consider that, for a rule to be established as customary, the corresponding practice must be in absolutely rigorous conformity with the rule. In order to deduce the existence of customary rules, the Court deems it sufficient that the conduct of States should, in general, be consistent with such rules, and that instances of State conduct inconsistent with a given rule should generally have been treated as breached of that rule, not as indications of the recognition of a new rule.” 31
Therefore the landmines ban can become custom, according to this formulation, even while some states still refuse to sign the land mine treaty. Those states would then be bound by the new custom.
It seems particularly important that states “whose interests are specially affected” comply with the Landmine Ban, for its provisions to become customary. Even while dismissing the importance of time as a requirement for custom, the International Court of Justice twice emphasized, in the North Sea Continental Shelf Cases, that “specially affected” states would have to be parties to the 1956 Convention, for it to becomecustomary international law.32 And in its 1996 Advisory Opinion on nuclear weapons, the Court identified states that have nuclear weapons as a specially-affected class.33 By analogy in the case of the Mine Ban Treaty, specially-affected states would probably be producers and users of landmines, like Russia, China, and the United States.
The formation of custom can be based on opinio juris more than on state practice
Many judges, scholars and legal practitioners say that opinio juris should be more important than practice in the formation of custom. These jurists argue that a rule need not be universally followed before it can be anointed as an international customary norm – it just has to be universally, or generally, defended. This argument could be very useful in the case of antipersonnel landmines, if states cease to defend the use of landmines before they actually stop using them. This may be true of Angola, for example.
The call for emphasis on opinio juris is not new. Already in 1967, Prof. R.R. Baxter wrote, “Reliance on a multilateral treaty as evidence of customary international law is not conditional on any demonstration that the signatory States have actually observed the norms of the treaty for any length of time. The process of establishing the state of customary international law is one of demonstrating what States consider to be the measure of their obligations. The actual conduct of States in their relations with other nations is only a subsidiary means whereby the rules which guide the conduct of States are ascertained.”34 In that view, practice is subsidiary to opinio juris.
Both the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) have used this view of opinio juris in major recent decisions on the formation of international custom. In both cases, the courts held that custom had crystallized, based on evidence of opinio juris, not practice.
In the 1986 Nicaragua case, the International Court of Justice held that the United States had violated customary international laws against the use of force against another state, against intervention in another state’s affairs, and against violating another state’s sovereignty. Since laws like the ban on non-intervention had been violated frequently and famously, especially during the Cold War, the Court might have had difficulty arguing for custom based on practice. Instead it relied heavily on opinio juris. The Court decided that there was customary law against intervention although many states had intervened in others’ affairs, because the intervening states had not “justified their conduct by reference to a new right of intervention or a new exception to the principle of its prohibition.”35
That is, the intervening states’ practice did not conform to the principle, but their opinio juris did, so the Court concluded that there was customary law. This could apply to the Landmines Ban. If it becomes possible to argue that although some states use landmines, they do not defend the practice as a ‘right’ or an ‘exception to the principle of …prohibition,’ to borrow language from the Nicaragua case,36 it would be possible to argue that there is customary law against the use of landmines, following the reasoning of Nicaragua.
Similarly, in its Appeals Chamber decision in the Tadic case, the ICTY relied overwhelmingly on government statements, rather than evidence of state practice, to decide in its decision in the case of Dusko Tadic. 37 As the scholar Theodor Meron has pointed out, the Court used various indications of opinio juris, including military manuals, to conclude that the Court had jurisdiction to preside over cases dealing with war crimes committed in internal armed conflicts, not only international wars.38
Many provisions of international treaty law, especially those regarding human rights, have given rise to undisputed custom even though they are frequently violated. One example is the text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a code that is lavishly praised but is still not ‘practiced’ by many states. As the scholar Louis Sohn put it, “The Declaration, as an authoritative listing of human rights, has become a basic component of international customary law, binding all states, not only members of the United Nations.”39 Even a relatively conservative source like the Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law of the United States holds that “[a] state violates international law if, as a matter of state policy, it practices, encourages or condones” cruelties against its own nationals including torture, systematic racial discrimination, and prolonged arbitrary detention.40 All of these human rights violations are prohibited by the Universal Declaration and other treaties,41 and there is general agreement that they have become customary law, yet unfortunately they are common in many states.
Opinio juris can also change quickly, according to some scholars. They argue that since World War II, prospective inquiry reflecting the massive proliferation of treaty law has supplanted the retrospective inquiry that was the standard method of identifying customary international law before. According to the scholar Ted Stein, “Whereas traditionally, [t]he question of what states ought to do was answered primarily by asking what they have done…. For today’s foreign ministry lawyer, the key question is whether to place reliance upon a rule stated in some treaty or resolution….Correspondingly, opinio juris is no longer seen as a consciousness that matures slowly over time …, but instead as a conviction that instantaneously attaches to a rule believed to be socially necessary or desirable.”42
These precedents suggest that a customary norm against antipersonnel landmines could develop, even before all states cease to use the weapons. By analogy, torture has never ceased as a practice, but that did not stop a customary norm against torture from developing: what counted was the development of opinio juris. In sum, when the ban on landmines gathers such strength that no state’s officials are willing to defend the use of landmines in any circumstances, it will be possible to argue that the ban is customary international law, like the prohibition against torture. Of course substantial evidence of changing practice is still necessary, otherwise the norm would be divorced from reality. There has already been considerable change in landmines practice, as we will discuss below.
No state can be a ‘persistent objector’ to a customary ban on antipersonnel landmines
As described above, once a rule attains the status of customary international law, states may not unilaterally repudiate it,43 and newly emerging states will be deemed to accede to the rule as a condition of statehood.44 This principle admits of one exception, however, the so-called “persistent objector” rule: “[a] state that has persistently objected to a rule is not bound by it, so long as the objection was made manifest during the process of the rule’s emergence.”45 The “persistent objector” exception to customary international law derives from recognition that international law emanates from the consent, whether tacit or express, of independent sovereign states.Consequently, a state that has “manifestly and continuously”46 objected to an evolving norm of customary international law cannot be bound by it.47
There are almost certainly no persistent objectors to the Mine Ban Treaty. States that wish to claim exemption from emerging norms must make their objections “manifestly and continuously,” and prior to the moment when these norms crystallize into clear customary international law. Where, as here, a widely subscribed treaty is contributing to the rapid crystallization of a customary norm, that means a state would need to have compiled a record of steady objection to the treaty.48
It would seriously damage the treaty’s chances of giving rise to customary law if any of the three major user and producer states, Russia, China and the United States, was a persistent objector. We contend that this is not possible. The United States, far from clearly and continuously manifesting its dissent from provisions of the Mine Ban Treaty, has been a strong supporter of many of the treaty’s provisions. The United States cannot credibly claim persistent objector status.
Nor does it appear that any other nation has “clearly and continuously” dissented from the terms of the Mine Ban Treaty or its emerging concomitant customary international law norms. In December 1996, the United Nations General Assembly, by a vote of 156-0, with ten abstentions, passed a resolution urging states to “pursue vigorously an effective, legally binding international agreement to ban the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of antipersonnel landmines” and “call[ing] upon States that have not yet done so to declare and implement such band moratoriums and restrictions . . . at the earliest possible date.”49 China and Russia, which have not, to date, signed the treaty, nonetheless joined the United States at a landmine conference held at the time of the treaty ceremony, in which all three nations “indicated that they will eventually comply with most of the treaty’s regulations.”50 And finally “[w]hile some [states] in the Middle East/North Africa region are very hostile to a landmine banat this time—including Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Libya, and Syria—nearly every country has expressed support for a ban at some point in the future.”51
Treaties as a Source of Custom
As mentioned above in Section I, treaties are a major source of customary international law, because they are an important indicator of state commitment to emerging norms. This gives reason to hope that the Mine Ban Treaty will give rise to custom.
The principle that customary law can develop from the provisions of treaties is so well-established that it is codified in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.52 It has also been repeatedly recognized by the International Court of Justice, and by many scholars.53 In section II(A)1 above, we have already mentioned the Nicaragua case, in which the Court found that custom against intervention in the affairs of other states had emerged from the U.N. Charter. As the Court pointed out in that case, customary international law need not be identical to the provisions of the treaty from which it emerges. Therefore if custom develops against landmines, it is possible that its scope may ultimately be broader than the treaty itself, so that non-party states would be bound by a more stringent norm.
Treaties dealing with the conduct of war, especially, have given rise to a great deal of customary international law. For example in the war crimes case of United States v. Von Leeb (“The High Command Case”) the Nuremberg Tribunal concluded that the 1929 Geneva Prisoners of War Convention could be binding on Nazi Germany with respect to the Soviet Union, although the Soviet Union had not been a party to the convention. Only 12 years had passed since the convention had been adopted, but the Tribunal determined that it was already customary law.54 Similarly, many provisions of the more recent Geneva Protocols of 1977 have developed into customary international law, according to the scholar and judge Antonio Cassese, Theodor Meron and others.55
The provisions of human rights treaties
have also contributed to a substantial body of customary international
law, as many authorities including the U.S. State Department have recognized.
In a brief submitted to the U.S. court hearing the case of Filartiga v.
Pena-Irala, in which the family of a man tortured to death in Paraguaybrought
civil suit against the torturer, the State Department adopted the view
that there is a customary international norm against torture. Relying heavily
on opinio juris, the State Department noted that both
multilateral treaties and international custom evince a “universal condemnation
of torture.” 56
What is the Existing State of Customary International Law Regarding an Antipersonnel Landmines Ban?
Although the campaign to ban antipersonnel landmines is of recent origin, the international community has long concerned itself with regulating the conduct of war so that it does not unduly harm civilians. Much of this law has already become customary, as mentioned in the previous section, and it could arguably be deemed to prohibit antipersonnel landmines. Therefore a framework of customary international law against landmines already exists, even if there is not yet an explicit customary ban against them.
Three principles of longstanding, customary international humanitarian law can be applied to antipersonnel landmines, and arguably prohibit them. Those principles are: the rule against needlessly aggravating human suffering, the rule against indiscriminate weapons (those that fail to distinguish between civilians and soldiers), and the rule that weapons must be militarily necessary. All three have been codified in the laws of war, also known as humanitarian law. These laws are briefly described below.
The Declaration of St. Petersburg of 1868, in which the parties renounced the use of projectiles below a certain weight, was an early international attempt to limit the way in which war is conducted. The Declaration called on states not to use certain weapons that caused (militarily) needless suffering, stating that “the only legitimate object which states should endeavor to accomplish during war is to weaken the military force of the enemy . . . .”57 The next major codification of the laws of war emerged from the international Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907. The Hague Declarations and Treaties of those dates established principles against weapons that indiscriminately or disproportionately kill and wound civilians. The Hague Convention (II)58
The four Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War Victims, promulgated in 1949, went into more detail, attempting to protect wounded and sick combatants, prisoners of war, and civilians.59 More recently, Protocol I Additional to the GenevaConventions of 1949, signed in 1977, sought to protect civilians during international armed conflicts. Additional Protocol I emphasizes that "[i]n any armed conflict, the right of the Parties to the conflict to choose methods or means of warfare is not unlimited." 60 Additional Protocol II to the Conventions extends the protections stated in the Additional Protocol I to victims of non-international armed conflicts.61
It is easy to see how the principles of
international humanitarian law apply to landmines. First, antipersonnel
landmines needlessly aggravate human suffering, especially when they remain
in the earth long after war has ended, continuing to kill civilians including
children. Second, antipersonnel landmines are indiscriminate by definition:
since they detonate automatically, they make no distinction between an
enemy soldier, a soldier from the same army that laid the mine, a farmer,
or a child. It has been pointed out elsewhere that the use of landmines
may theoretically be discriminate, if they are directed against military
objectives, but their effects become indiscriminate whenever they are left
in the earth near civilians.62 This is so in
the overwhelming majority of the countries that contain major minefields.
Third and finally, many military experts argue that antipersonnel landmines
are not militarily necessary, although this point is still the subject
IV. Changes in State Practice and Opinio Juris Concerning Antipersonnel Landmines
The Ottawa Process and the Mine Ban Treaty have brought about a sudden, dramatic change in state practice regarding landmines, and an even more rapid change in opinio juris. 64As the British journalist John Ryle described it: “It’s the first time that a weapon in common use has been withdrawn from the arsenal. It’s also the first timethat the manufacture, possession, transfer, and use of an armament have been banned in a single, unambiguous piece of legislation. The relentless pressure of the campaigners has kept the treaty free of loopholes.”65 The fact that forty states ratified the treaty in only nine months demonstrates the power of anti-landmine governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and international agencies to bring about change in worldwide state practice.66 Especially within “the glacial world of arms control,”67 the speed of the process has been striking. It reflects both the pressing nature of the landmines problem and emerging international consensus on the issue.68 The United Nations has referred to the Mine Ban Treaty as a “convention of conscience, that acquired force of binding international law with historic speed.” The remaining challenge is to universalize the Treaty.69
As noted above, a treaty can form the basis for a customary norm of international law. For two reasons, this is especially likely to happen in the case of the Mine Ban Treaty. First, the Mine Ban Treaty has already been embraced by most of the international community, in opinio juris if not yet in practice. Second, some states have already eliminated landmines from their arsenals. As discussed above, even treaties that are regularly violated, like the Convention Against Torture, can serve as the basis for customary international law. In the case of the Mine Ban Treaty, as in the case of the torture convention, even non-party states have expressed support for the ban.
The Mine Ban Treaty also strikes at the heart of states’ security concerns, banning a weapon that many states have long regarded as central to their capacity to defend themselves. In many states, powerful national security or defense establishments feared that the treaty would impinge on their authority. This has made it a difficult treaty for many countries to sign, not merely an easy, symbolic gesture in hypothetical support of human rights. Yet more than 80 percent of the world’s nations have signed the Treaty70 and 67 countries have ratified it, reflecting states’ willingness to make significant concessions to the Treaty’s purpose of ridding the world of landmines. This tide of opinio juris demonstrates the unusual strength of the rapidly-emerging norm against antipersonnel landmines.
V. Conclusion: Development of a Customary International Norm that Will Bind All States
In sum, we contend that a comprehensive ban on landmines is rapidly emerging as a customary norm of international law. Activists and sympathetic governments should realize that in working to persuade more countries to sign and ratify the Mine Ban Treaty and to stop using landmines, they are simultaneously working to establish customary international law. The two processes are parallel.
A powerful argument can be made that customary international law will have crystallized on the issue when China, Russia, and the United States, the three remaining major users of landmines, subscribe to the ban against them, or, at least, when those states cease to defend their use of the weapons. As discussed above, there is no minimum length of time that need elapse first, and we believe no state will be able to claim persistent objector status.
Of course, the only way to verify that custom has crystallized is to submit the question to an international court, as in the North Sea Continental Shelf , Nuclear Weapons and Nicaragua cases discussed above.71 We have explained how one might eventually argue that customary law has crystallized on the antipersonnel landmines ban. In the not-distant future, landmine activists might consider submitting the matter to the International Court of Justice.
LANDMINES IN INTERNATIONAL LAW:
RATIFICATION AND NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION
Produced for the Landmine Monitor by the
VERIFICATION RESEARCH AND TRAINING INFORMATION CENTRE (VERTIC)
The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on their Destruction (‘the Ottawa Convention’) creates various obligations for those countries which are parties to it. The most visible of these are the destruction of existing stocks of landmines, the destruction of deployed stocks and the assistance to be provided to victims. This part of the Annual Report is concerned with the legal framework which will underlie these actions.
This report has two parts.1
Part I examines the legal process by which a country becomes bound by international obligations under a treaty. It also examines the nature and implications of declarations and reservations which may be made at the time of ratification.
Part II addresses the question of national implementation, including an examination of what is required by international law and, more specifically, what is required by the Ottawa Convention.
Consent to be bound
As a matter of international law, ‘the consent of a state to be bound by a treaty may be expressed by signature, exchange of instruments…, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, or by any other means if so agreed’.2 The Ottawa Convention sets out the means by which those states wishing to become parties to the Convention may express their consent to be bound. Article 16 of the Ottawa Convention provides that:
1.This Convention is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval of the signatories.
2. It shall be open for accession by any State which has not signed the Convention.
By virtue of Article 16(1) the act of signing does not constitute an expression of a state’s consent to be bound by the terms of the Convention. The act of signing simplyqualifies a state to proceed to ratification, acceptance or approval. The act of signature does not create a binding obligation to proceed to ratification.3 It is possible, therefore, that not all of the signatories to the Ottawa Convention will ratify, accept or approve it.
However, the act of signing a treaty, while not constituting an expression of consent to be bound, nevertheless carries with it some consequences for the status, rights and, arguably, the obligations of a signatory state.4 The act of signing arguably creates an obligation of good faith to refrain from acts which would defeat the object and purpose of a treaty,5 which obligation continues until a party has ratified a treaty or has made clear its intention not to become a party to that treaty.6
Ratification ‘constitutes a solemn act on the part of a sovereign or by the president of a republic whereby he[/she] declares that a treaty, convention or other international instrument has been submitted to him[/her] and that after examining it he[/she] has given his approval thereto, and undertaken its complete and faithful observance’.7 The term is, on occasion, extended to include the approval of the legislature if the approvalis constitutionally necessary as a condition precedent to the head of state signifying consent.
The term ‘ratification’ is sometimes confused with the process by which a treaty formally enters into force following a state’s ratification, generally by the exchange or deposit of an instrument of ratification by the state concerned.8 The Ottawa Convention provides that instruments of ratification are to be deposited with the Depositary, the Secretary- General of the UN. 9 Only following the deposit of that instrument can the Convention enter into force in respect of that state.10 The Ottawa Convention will enter into force in respect of that state either on the entry into force of the Convention as a whole (Article 17(1)) or if the Convention itself has already entered into force, on the first day of the sixth month after the date of the deposit by the state (Article 17(2)).11
Accession contemplates a state becoming party to a treaty or convention to which it is not a signatory.12 The Ottawa Convention expressly contemplates accession as a means by which a state may establish its consent to be bound by the Convention, notwithstanding that that state has not signed the Convention.13 The Convention makes clear that a state may accede to it either before or after the entry into force of the Convention itself.14 Since the Convention has now entered into force the former option is no longer possible.
As in the case of ratification, the Ottawa Convention requires that an instrument of accession be deposited with the depositary. It is on the deposit of this instrument thatthe acceding state formally establishes internationally its consent to be bound by the terms of the Convention.15
The entry into force of the Ottawa Convention following a state’s accession is determined in the same way as its entry into force following a state’s ratification of the Convention - either on entry into force of the Convention as a whole or, if the Convention itself has already entered into force, on the first day of the sixth month after the date of the deposit by the state.16
Acceptance and approval
Acceptance and approval have emerged in comparatively recent practice as alternative means of facilitating a state’s participation in a treaty.17 Acceptance refers to the process whereby a state’s consent to be bound by a treaty may, by virtue of its constitutional arrangements, be expressed by executive action alone, rather than by the more formal process often associated with ratification and which may, as noted above, require the approval of the state’s legislature.18 ‘Approval’ refers to a state’s acceptance of the terms of a treaty in accordance with its municipal law processes. It is distinguished from ‘acceptance’, which indicates the formal act of accepting the terms of the treaty by the state.19
Depending on their context, use of the terms ‘acceptance’ and ‘approval’ may reflect the expression of consent to be bound by a treaty in ways akin either to ratification or accession – that is, either following signature, or without any requirement for prior signature of the treaty. Under Article 16(1) of the Ottawa Convention, the terms ‘acceptance’ and ‘approval’ are used analogously to ratification. That is, only signatory states may express their consent to be bound by ‘acceptance’ or ‘approval’.
As in the case of ratification, the Ottawa Convention requires that instruments of acceptance or approval be deposited with the depositary. It is on the deposit of the relevant instrument that the accepting or approving state formally establishes, on theinternational plane, its consent to be bound by the terms of the Ottawa Convention.20 The entry into force of the Ottawa Convention following a state’s acceptance or approval is determined in the same way as its entry into force following a state’s ratification of the Convention.21
Declarations and Reservations
On signing, or expressing their consent to be bound by, the Ottawa Convention, a number of states have submitted declarations. As at 3 December 1998,22 eight declarations had been made. Five of these simply indicated that they intended to apply the terms of the Ottawa Convention provisionally pending its entry into force, as contemplated by Article 18 of the Convention. These countries were Austria, Mauritius, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland. The effect of these declarations has been to render the Ottawa Convention binding on these countries prior to it entering into force on 1 March 1999. Another of the declarations, by Greece, simply confirmed its intention to implement the Convention.23
The remaining two declarations, those submitted by Canada and the United Kingdom, were described as expressing their ‘understanding’ of the nature of the obligations contained in the Ottawa Convention. The existence of these understandings raises the question of whether they constitute reservations. The issue arises because Article 19 of the Ottawa Convention expressly prohibits reservations.24 Accordingly, the Convention abrogates the general liberty under international law25 to formulate a reservation when signing, ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to a treaty.26
A full report on these declarations is available from VERTIC and analysis is also included in the relevant country reports.
Once a Convention is drafted, signed and ratified and any reservations or declarations made known, the next step is implementation at the national level. This part of the Report will examine two aspects of national implementation: first, the general position in international law with regard to the relationship between treaties and national laws; and second, the specific requirements of the Ottawa Convention.
The Relationship between International Obligations of States and National Law
The international law relating to the relationship between a state's treaty or customary obligations and its municipal law is well settled. A state cannot plead provisions of its own law, or an absence thereof, to answer a claim against it for an alleged breach of its obligations under international law.27 There is in general an obligation on parties to a treaty to bring their internal law into conformity with their international obligations.28
The process whereby a country translates its international obligations into domestic law is often described as incorporation. The legal requirements of incorporation will vary from country to country. In the United Kingdom and most other Commonwealth countries the conclusion and ratification of treaties are within the prerogative of the head of state (the Crown or its equivalent). However, under the so-called transformation doctrine, treaties only become part of domestic law if an enabling Act of Parliament has been passed. Otherwise the Crown could legislate without parliamentary consent simply by entering a treaty.
For other countries, treaties entered into by the executive bind the courts without any further specific act of incorporation into domestic law (such ratifications are known as ‘self-executing’. Provided the correct process is adhered to, which will involve executive approval, the treaty becomes, in effect, municipal law. In practice however this principle is often applied with significant qualifications. For example, in the case of the United States, a treaty obligation may be overridden by subsequent federal legislation overrides a treaty. Furthermore, a self-executing treaty may not be enforced internally until it has been published.29 The whole subject resists generalisation and each state’s practice reflects the characteristics of its constitution.
Once an international treaty is incorporated into a country’s domestic law, by whatever method, there remains the question of what legal effect it has. Once again this is a subject which cannot be generalised. If the method of incorporation is a statutecontaining the treaty provisions it will have the same effect as any other piece of legislation. There is a well-established common law rule of construction which provides that where domestic legislation is passed to give effect to an international convention there is a presumption that Parliament intended to fulfil its international obligations.30 Where a treaty becomes part of national law simply through ratification its effect and interpretation are less clear. There is a general rule however, that in the case of a conflict, statute prevails over treaty.
What legal measures must be taken to implement a treaty?
The Ottawa Convention requires states parties to undertake many actions and cease to engage in others. Some of the more visible acts that have or will be facilitated by the Convention are the destruction of existing stocks of landmines, the cessation of production of landmines, the destruction of deployed stocks and the provision of assistance to victims.
Before discussing the requirements of the Convention two issues need to be considered. The first, as mentioned above, is that there is a general duty arising from the nature of treaty obligations and from customary law to bring internal law into conformity with international obligations. However, in general, a failure to bring about such conformity is not in itself a direct breach of international law. A breach only arises when a state fails to observe its obligations on a specific occasion.31 This means that if a state is required, by virtue of its ratification of the Ottawa Convention, its constitution and its situation vis a vis landmines to pass implementing legislation or other administrative measures and it fails to do so there is no breach of international law. A breach will only occur when, as a result of the absence of such laws or regulations, a prohibited act is performed.
The second issue arises from the fact that states parties to the Convention have made a binding international undertaking not to perform certain acts, for example producing landmines, and to engage in certain others where required, for example clearing landmines. The issue is whether a country which does not participate and has never participated in the production, use or transfer of landmines still fulfils its obligations if it takes no action, passes no new laws or takes no new administrative measures.
This is, for example, the case with Fiji. According to the constitution of Fiji, treaties are self-executing, which as outlined above means that once ratified, in accordance with constitutional procedures, the Ottawa Convention became binding in the courts of Fiji. The fact that a country's constitution operates in this way does not mean that this country need not enact implementing legislation for any treaty obligations. For example, in relation to the Ottawa Convention one requirement, which will be discussed below, is the provision of criminal sanctions for individuals caught engaging in prohibited conduct. The nature and extent of these sanctions is not provided in the Convention and must therefore be supplied by national law to giveeffect to treaty obligations. It is arguable that as there is no prohibited activity undertaken in Fiji there is no need for it to pass any law. That view should be challenged on several grounds.
First, one is unable to anticipate whether prohibited activity may occur in a country in the future. In the event of a prohibited activity in the future, whether anticipated or not, a country such a Fiji would require legislation to meets its international obligation. Further the legislative prohibitions, unless repealed, would bind the executive thus ensuring that no prohibited activity is conducted by any future Government.
In addition the country that submits that it does not engage in prohibited activity may have citizens who are engaged in undertaking prohibited activity in another country. While those citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which the prohibited activity is being undertaken the country of which they hold citizenship is also able to criminalize the actions notwithstanding they have been committed in another country. The nexus for the criminal sanction being the citizenship of the person breaching the prohibition.
The enacting of legislation would also assist other countries that find that one of their citizens is seeking refuge from criminal prosecution in that other country. As Brownlie notes, ‘With the exception of alleged crimes under international law, in the absence of treaty, surrender of an alleged criminal cannot be demanded as of right’.32 While extradition depends on issues of internal constitutional law and the effect of treaties on municipal laws, there exists a general principle of international law of double criminality. The principle requires that the act charged must be criminal under the laws of both the state of refuge and the requesting state. Therefore the enacting of legislation creating criminal sanctions in respect to the acts prohibited by the Convention would assist any future extradition proceedings.
A final consideration is that the enacting of legislation by all countries enhances the possibility that a ban on the use of landmines could become part of customary international law. In the meantime, as customary international law evolves, each piece of municipal legislation becomes one part of the movement to ban landmines. The role of the legislation internationally is one of moral suasion to other nations to also ratify and implement.
It is submitted therefore that all countries, notwithstanding the fact they consider that they have no landmine activity should legislate.
Obligations Imposed By The Ottawa Convention
Article 1 of the Convention sets out the general obligations of the Convention as follows:
1. Each State Party undertakes never under any circumstances:
a) to use antipersonnel mines;
b) to develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, anti-personnel mines;
c) to assist, encourage or induce, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Convention.
2. Each State Party undertakes to destroy or ensure the destruction of all anti-personnel mines in accordance with the provisions of this Convention.
The few exceptions to the general obligations are set out in Article 3, which provides that a minimum number of landmines may be retained or transferred to develop or train in mine detection, mine clearance or mine destruction. It also provides that anti-personnel mines may be transferred for the purpose of destruction.
Article 9 of the Convention addresses national implementation measures and requires that ‘[e]ach State Party... take all appropriate legal, administrative and other measures, including the imposition of penal sanctions, to prevent and suppress any activity prohibited...under this Convention...’
To ensure that these prohibitions are enforced in practice, the ratifying countries will have to take a number of regulatory steps at national level. Specifically, countries must adopt appropriate legal, administrative and other measures to prevent and punish any prohibited activity by persons on territory under its jurisdiction or control. This will require the adoption of specific municipal criminal legislation.
The fact that the Ottawa Convention not only prohibits certain conduct but requires the provision of criminal sanctions places an extra burden on states parties. For example, a state party, which has never had any dealings with landmines, could, in theory, find itself in breach of its international obligations. If a transaction involving landmines or components thereof was conducted on its territory a state party would be obliged under the Convention to punish the individuals involved. If that country did not have relevant criminal legislation it may find itself unable to do so. The direct incorporation of the Convention into the law of a country on ratification will not suffice. The Convention does provide the penal framework or the specific penalties for a breach of the prohibitions. Municipal legislation is therefore required to enforce the Convention through criminal sanctions.
In addition to new legislation the Ottawa Convention also requires most countries to adopt administrative measures to make sure that the necessary changes in military doctrine, codes of conduct, training procedures and manuals are made. Other necessary measures will include giving notification to companies involved in the production or transfer of landmines and the review by relevant ministries of import and export licenses in light of the Convention's requirements.
Article 4 addresses the destruction of existing stockpiles of mines and Article 5 the clearing of mined areas. States will need to take appropriate administrative and regulatory measures to implement these provisions.
Article 7 requires each state party to file a report with the Secretary-General of the United Nations six months after entry into force of the treaty.33 This report must provide detail of national implementation measures, for example stockpiles oflandmines and mined areas. States parties will need to take appropriate administrative measures to authorise the collection of this information.
Article 8 provides for the facilitation and clarification of compliance. In complying with this Article, states will need to provide a process for receiving and responding to requests, as well as the appropriate measures for hosting and cooperating with fact-finding missions should these become necessary.
Finally, in implementing the Convention states will need to allocate funding at a national level in order to contribute, as required by Article 14, to the cost of Meetings of States Parties.
MEDIA COVERAGE OF LANDMINES
by Richard Price and Daniel Hope, University of Minnesota
This appendix reports on the extent of media attention to landmines issues. By establishing a baseline of media coverage for future comparison, it will be possible to track public media reports of landmine use and other land mines issues to identify future trends in public attention. Public attention on landmines issues has been important in creating pressures for acceptance of a new international norm prohibiting anti-personnel landmines, and thus tracking media coverage is an important component of monitoring the spread of the norm. If public attention wanes, the sense of crisis so important for rapid acceptance of the mines taboo may lessen, with a resulting decrease in this source of pressure on states that have not yet signed or ratified the treaty.
Scholarly research on the development of international norms suggests that an important factor in the development of international norms over time is the public treatment of violations of weapons taboos as just that - violations - instead of being justified as tolerable events or ignored as unremarkable occurrences. For example, as the idea has spread and deepened that torture is unacceptable practice for civilized states, press attention to violations of that norm does not disappear; on the contrary, each single violation actually gains in relative significance as an unacceptable deviation from tolerable behavior. Similarly, the tracking of allegations of the use of land mines can serve as an important indicator of the acceptance of the new prohibitionary norm. Allegations of the use of land mines by parties to a conflict, even if such allegations are being employed solely for propaganda value, indicate that the accusing party acknowledges the taboo status of land mines. For example, it would be particularly significant if a non-signatory state were to begin accusing another state or group of using landmines, since one would only make such an accusation if that kind of behavior was to be regarded as not acceptable. In this way even allegations can contribute to the gradual acceptance of the norm over time.
Similarly, even specious denials of the use of mines by parties to a conflict can contribute to the spreading delegitimization of land mines, particularly when compared to the open acknowledgment or even defense of the use of land mines as legitimate, and rejection of the prohibitionary norm as invalid by accused parties. The history of chemical weapons provides a useful illustration. When chemical weapons were first utilized on a large scale during World War One, the Germans defended their use as an acceptable practice of warfare. In the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, the Iraqis did not defend their use of chemical weapons and would not even admit they had used them. However, the lack of a significant international condemnation in response to Iraqi violations greatly weakened the spread and strength of the chemical weapons taboo in the region.
It is in this spirit that the database that provides the information for the graphs in this appendix will thus track changes in statements by governments and parties to conflicts concerning allegations of the use of mines, defenses of the use of mines, denials of such use, and affirmations of the validity of the mines taboo. With this data Landmine Monitor can identify changes in toleration of the use of land mines by thepublic, governments and non-state actors. The database itself was not available for the 1999 Landmine Monitor report; this appendix is therefore confined to reporting on general trends in media attention of landmines issues and landmine use to provide a baseline for future comparison.
Two major kinds of media coverage were surveyed for different sources: general stories about land mines, and stories that concerned incidents of the use of land mines. The data shows that whereas mine incidents were rarely reported upon before the campaign to ban land mines reached prominence, since that time they have been treated increasingly as newsworthy events deserving of political attention. Reports about mine use in major newspapers, magazines, newsletters, wire services, and non-U.S. English printed sources all show a very gradual increase from 1989 to 1996, with an enormous increase in 1997 as the campaign gained widespread international attention. Reports about the use of land mines dropped dramatically in 1998, often to near 1996-levels, except for reports in newsletters which saw a very small decrease. This indicates that the major public media already have fallen behind the organizations which publish newsletters in attempting to keep up the attention level of land mines incidents. The sole exception to these trends are medical publications who were out in front in giving attention to the use of landmines by peaking in 1996, and falling significantly thereafter. This is suggestive of the role of the medical community in helping define and politicize the landmines issue as a health and humanitarian crisis.
Trends in coverage of general landmines issues exhibit a similar steady increase from 1989 to 1996, with an enormous increase in 1997 (a doubling of magazine coverage, a four-fold increase of major newspaper coverage). Coverage of landmines in 1998 dropped by about half in major newspapers and by about two-thirds in non-U.S. media as reported in World News Connection. However, coverage in magazines, newsletters and Canadian publications actually held steady or even increased in 1998. This may in part be attributable to the aftereffects of the signing of the landmines treaty in December 1997, and thus particular attention must be paid to media coverage of landmines issues in subsequent years to see if this level of attention is sustained.
3. Methods and Limitations
The date presented in the graphs are preliminary, and provide an approximate - not exhaustive - guide to the relative attention to land mines issues in various public media. Part of the rise of numbers of stories on land mines may be attributed to the rise in number of surveyed publications over time in the Nexis search engines. However, in an important respect this would not invalidate the findings; on the contrary it would be consistent with the hypothesis that the increasing availability of media has facilitated the high public profile of the land mines issue in the 1990s. Surveys of electronic media - e-mail traffic, reports on the world wide web, and television coverage - are not available, so the results of the data provide only a relative comparison of attention in print media, radio reports (as tracked by FBIS and World News Service) and wire services. Each individual story found in the searches will be catalogued into the database during 1999 to provide a baseline for future surveys, and this process will identify any spurious results in the searches. For example, the search terms used toidentify stories about the use of land mines could potentially result in the inclusion of stories about other issues. While the information for the graphs does not yet include this possible correction, any spurious results are likely to be random and not systematically biased in any particular direction.
10 January 1997
Agenda item 71
RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
[on the report of the First Committee (A/51/566/Add.11)]
79th plenary meeting
10 December 1996
S. An international agreement to ban anti-personnel landmines
The General Assembly,
Recalling with satisfaction its resolutions 48/75 K of 16 December 1993, 49/75 D of 15 December 1994 and 50/70 O of 12 December 1995, in which it, inter alia, urged States to implement moratoriumson the export of anti-personnel landmines,
Also recalling with satisfaction its resolutions 49/75 D and 50/70 O, in which it, inter alia, established as a goal of the international community the eventual elimination of anti-personnel landmines,
Noting that, according to the 1995 report of the Secretary-General entitled "Assistance in mine clearance", 51/ it is estimated that there are one hundred and ten million landmines in the ground in more than sixty countries throughout the world,
Noting also that, according to the same report, the global landmine crisis continues to worsen as an estimated two million new landmines are laid each year, while only an estimated one hundred and fifty thousand were cleared in 1995,
Expressing deep concern that anti-personnel landmines kill or maim hundreds of people every week, mostly innocent and defenselesscivilians and especially children, obstruct economic development andreconstruction, inhibit the repatriationof refugees and the return of internally displaced persons, and have other severe consequences for years after emplacement,
Gravely concerned about the suffering and casualties caused to non-combatants as a result of the proliferation, as well as the indiscriminate and irresponsible use, of anti-personnel landmines,
Recalling with satisfaction its resolutions 48/7 of 19 October 1993, 49/215 A of 23 December 1994 and 50/82 of 14 December 1995 calling for assistance in mine clearance,
Welcoming the recent decisions taken at the Review Conference ofthe 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, particularly with respect to the amended Protocol II 13/to the Convention, and believing that the amended Protocol is an essential part of the global effort to address problems caused by the proliferation, as well as the indiscriminate and irresponsible use, of anti-personnel landmines,
Welcoming also the adoption of the declaration entitled "Towards a Global Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines" by participants at the Ottawa International Strategy Conference on 5 October 1996, 52/ including its call for the earliest possible conclusion of a legally binding international agreement to ban anti-personnel landmines, and further welcoming the follow-on conference at Brussels in June 1997,
Welcoming further the recent decisions taken by States to adopt various bans, moratoriums or other restrictions on the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines, and other measures taken unilaterally as well as multilaterally,
Recognizing the need to conclude an international agreement to ban all anti-personnel landmines as soon as possible,
1. Urges States to pursue vigorously an effective, legally binding international agreement to ban the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines with a view to completing the negotiation as soon as possible;
2. Urges States that have not yet done so to accede 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 14/and Protocol II as amended on 3 May 1996, 13/ and urges all States immediately to comply to the fullest extent possible with the applicable rules of Protocol II as amended;
3. Welcomes the various bans, moratoriums or other restrictions already declared by States on anti-personnel landmines;
4. Calls upon States that have not yet done so to declare and implement such bans, moratoriums or other restrictions - particularly on operational use and transfer - at the earliest possible date;
5. Requests the Secretary-General to prepare a report on steps taken to complete an international agreement banning the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines, and on other steps taken by Member States to implement such bans, moratoriums or other restrictions and to submit it to the General Assembly at its fifty-second session under the item entitled "General and complete disarmament";
6. Requests Member States to provide the requested information for the report of the Secretary-General on steps taken to complete an international agreement banning the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines, and on other steps taken to implement bans, moratoriums or other restrictions on anti-personnel landmines and to submit such information to the Secretary-General by 15 April 1997.
13/ See CCW/CONF.I/16 (Part I).
14/ See The United Nations Disarmament Yearbook, vol. 5: 1980
(United Nations publication, Sales No. E.81.IX.4), appendix VII.
52/ A/C.1/51/10, annex.
General and complete disarmament
Date: 9 December 1997
Vote: A - 142-0-18
A. Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production
and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction
The General Assembly,
Determined to put an end to the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel mines that kill or maim hundreds of people every week, mostly innocent and defenceless civilians and especially children, obstruct economic development and reconstruction, inhibit the repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons, and have other severe consequences for years after emplacement,
Believing it necessary to do the utmost to contribute in an efficient and coordinated manner to facing the challenge of removing anti-personnel mines placed throughout the world, and to assure their destruction,
Wishing to do the utmost in assuring assistance for the care and rehabilitation, including the social and economic reintegration, of mine victims,
Recalling its resolution 51/45 S of 10 December 1996 urging all States to pursue vigorously an effective, legally-binding international agreement to ban the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines with a view to completing the negotiation as soon as possible,
Stressing the role of public conscience in furthering the principles of humanity as evidenced by the call for a total ban on anti-personnel mines and recognizing the efforts to that end undertaken by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and numerous other non-governmental organizations around the world,
Recalling the Ottawa Declaration of 5 October 1996 and the Brussels Declaration of 27 June 1997 urging the international community to negotiate aninternational and legally binding agreement prohibiting the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines,
Emphasizing the desirability of attracting the adherence of all States to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, and determined to work strenuously towards the promotion of its universalization in all relevant forums including, inter alia, the United Nations, the Conference on Disarmament, regional organizations and groupings, and review conferences of 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,
Basing itself on the principle of international humanitarian law that the right of the parties to an armed conflict to choose methods or means of warfare is not unlimited, on the principle that prohibits the employment in armed conflicts of weapons, projectiles and materials and methods of warfare of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering and on the principle that a distinction must be made between civilians and combatants,
Welcoming the conclusion of negotiations on 18 September 1997 at Oslo, Norway, on the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction,
1. Invites all States to sign the Convention, which will be opened for signature at Ottawa, Canada, on 3 and 4 December 1997, and thereafter at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 5 December 1997 until its entry into force;
2. Urges all States to ratify the Convention without delay subsequent to their signatures;
3. Calls upon all States to contribute towards the full realization and effective implementation of the Convention to advance the care and rehabilitation, and the social and economic reintegration of mine victims, and mine-awareness programmes, and the removal of anti-personnel mines placed throughout the world and the assurance of their destruction;
4. Requests the Secretary-General of the United Nations to render the necessary assistance and to provide such services as may be necessary to fulfil the tasks entrusted to him by the Convention;
5. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-third session an item entitled "Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction".
12 January 1999
Agenda item 71
RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
[on the report of the First Committee (A/53/584)]
53/77. General and complete disarmament
79th plenary meeting
4 December 1998
N. Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and
Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction
The General Assembly,
Recalling its resolution 52/38 A of 9 December 1997,
Reaffirming its determination to put an end to the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel mines, which kill or maim hundreds of people every week, mostly innocent and defenceless civilians and especially children, obstruct economic development and reconstruction, inhibit the repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons, and have other severe consequences for years after emplacement,
Believing it necessary to do the utmost to contribute in an efficient and coordinated manner to facing the challenge of removing anti-personnel mines placed throughout the world, and to assure their destruction,
Wishing to do the utmost in assuring assistance for the care and rehabilitation, including the social and economic reintegration, of mine victims,
Recalling the conclusion of negotiations on 18 September 1997 at Oslo on the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction 40/ and the opening for signature ofthe Convention at Ottawa, on 3 and 4 December 1997, and thereafter at Headquarters in New York until its entry into force,
Welcoming the addition of new States signatories to the Convention since its opening for signature, the rapid ratification by many signatories and the early achievement of the fortieth ratification of the Convention on 16 September 1998, which, according to the provisions of article 17 of the Convention, will result in the entry into force of the Convention on 1 March 1999,
Emphasizing the desirability of attracting the adherence of all States to the Convention, and determined to work strenuously towards the promotion of its universalization,
1. Invites all States that have not yet done so to sign or, after entry into force, to accede to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction; 40/
2. Urges all States that have not yet done so to ratify the Convention without delay subsequent to their signature;
3. Renews its call upon all States to contribute
towards the full realization and effective implementation of the Convention
to advance the care and rehabilitation, and the social and economic reintegration
of mine victims, and mine awareness programmes, and the removal of anti-personnel
mines placed throughout the world and the assurance of their destruction;
4. Welcomes the generous offer by the Government of Mozambique to act as host for the First Meeting of the States Parties;
5. Requests the Secretary-General, in accordance with article 11, paragraph 2, of the Convention, to undertake the preparations necessary to convene the First Meeting of the States Parties, to take place in Maputo during the week of 3 May 1999;
6. Invites all States parties to the First Meeting of the States Parties and, in accordance with article 11, paragraph 4, of the Convention, States not parties to the Convention, as well as the United Nations, other relevant international organizations or institutions, regional organizations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and relevant non-governmental organizations to attend the Meeting as observers in accordance with the agreed rules of procedure.
40/ See CD/1478.
18 September 1997
CONVENTION ON THE PROHIBITION OF THE USE, STOCKPILING, PRODUCTION AND TRANSFER OF ANTI-PERSONNEL MINES AND ON
The States Parties,
Determined to put an end to the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel mines, that kill or maim hundreds of people every week, mostly innocent and defenceless civilians and especially children, obstruct economic development and reconstruction, inhibit the repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons, and have other severe consequences for years after emplacement,
Believing it necessary to do their utmost to contribute in an efficient and coordinated manner to face the challenge of removing anti-personnel mines placed throughout the world, and to assure their destruction,
Wishing to do their utmost in providing assistance for the care and rehabilitation, including the social and economic reintegration of mine victims,
Recognizing that a total ban of anti-personnel mines would also be an important confidence-building measure,
Welcoming the adoption of the Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices, as amended on 3 May 1996, annexed 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, and calling for the early ratification of this Protocol by all States which have not yet done so,
Welcoming also United Nations General Assembly Resolution 51/45 S of 10 December 1996 urging all States to pursue vigorously an effective, legally-binding international agreement to ban the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines,
Welcoming furthermore the measures taken over the past years, both unilaterally and multilaterally, aiming at prohibiting, restricting or suspending the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines,
Stressing the role of public conscience in furthering the principles of humanity as evidenced by the call for a total ban of anti-personnel mines and recognizing the efforts to that end undertaken by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and numerous other non-governmental organizations around the world,
Recalling the Ottawa Declaration of 5 October 1996 and the Brussels Declaration of 27 June 1997 urging the international community to negotiate an international and legally binding agreement prohibiting the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines,
Emphasizing the desirability of attracting the adherence of all States to this Convention, and determined to work strenuously towards the promotion of its universalization in all relevant fora including, inter alia, the United Nations, the Conference on Disarmament, regional organizations, and groupings, and review conferences of 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,
Basing themselves on the principle of international humanitarian law that the right of the parties to an armed conflict to choose methods or means of warfare is not unlimited, on the principle that prohibits the employment in armed conflicts of weapons, projectiles and materials and methods of warfare of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering and on the principle that a distinction must be made between civilians and combatants,
Have agreed as follows:
1. Each State Party undertakes never under any circumstances:
a) To use anti-personnel mines;
b) To develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, anti-personnel mines;
c) To assist, encourage or induce, in any way, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Convention.
2. Each State Party undertakes to destroy or ensure the destruction of all anti-personnel mines in accordance with the provisions of this Convention.
1. "Anti-personnel mine" means a mine designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person and that will incapacitate, injure or kill one or more persons. Mines designed to be detonated by the presence, proximity or contact of a vehicle as opposed to a person, that are equipped with anti-handling devices, are not considered anti-personnel mines as a result of being so equipped.
2. "Mine" means a munition designed to be placed under, on or near the ground or other surface area and to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person or a vehicle.
3. "Anti-handling device" means a device intended to protect a mine and which is part of, linked to, attached to or placed under the mine and which activates when an attempt is made to tamper with or otherwise intentionally disturb the mine.
4. "Transfer" involves, in addition to the physical movement of anti-personnel mines into or from national territory, the transfer of title to and control over the mines, but does not involve the transfer of territory containing emplaced anti-personnel mines.
5. "Mined area" means an area which is dangerous due to the presence or suspected presence of mines.
1. Notwithstanding the general obligations under Article 1, the retention or transfer of a number of anti-personnel mines for the development of and training in mine detection, mine clearance, or mine destruction techniques is permitted. The amount of such mines shall not exceed the minimum number absolutely necessary for the above-mentioned purposes.
2. The transfer of anti-personnel mines for the purpose of destruction is permitted.
Destruction of stockpiled anti-personnel mines
Except as provided for in Article 3, each State Party undertakes to destroy or ensure the destruction of all stockpiled anti-personnel mines it owns or possesses, or that are under its jurisdiction or control, as soon as possible but not later than four years after the entry into force of this Convention for that State Party.
Destruction of anti-personnel mines in mined areas
1. Each State Party undertakes to destroy or ensure the destruction of all anti-personnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control, as soon as possible but not later than ten years after the entry into force of this Convention for that State Party.
2. Each State Party shall make every effort to identify all areas under its jurisdiction or control in which anti-personnel mines are known or suspected to be emplaced and shall ensure as soon as possible that all anti-personnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control are perimeter-marked, monitored and protected by fencing or other means, to ensure the effective exclusion of civilians, until all anti-personnel mines contained therein have been destroyed. The marking shall at least be to the standards set out in the Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices, as amended on 3 May 1996, annexed 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.
3. If a State Party believes that it will be unable to destroy or ensure the destruction of all anti-personnel mines referred to in paragraph 1 within that time period, it may submit a request to a Meeting of the States Parties or a Review Conference for an extension of the deadline for completing the destruction of such anti-personnel mines, for a period of up to ten years.
4. Each request shall contain:
a) The duration of the proposed extension;
b) A detailed explanation of the reasons for the proposed extension, including:
(i) The preparation and status of work conducted under national demining programs;
(ii) The financial and technical means available to the State Party for the destruction of all the anti-personnel mines; and
(iii) Circumstances which impede the ability of the State Party to destroy all the anti-personnel mines in mined areas;
c) The humanitarian, social, economic, and environmental implications of the extension; and
d) Any other information relevant to the request for the proposed extension.
5. The Meeting of the States Parties or the Review Conference shall, taking into consideration the factors contained in paragraph 4, assess the request and decide by a majority of votes of States Parties present and voting whether to grant the request for an extension period.
6. Such an extension may be renewed upon the submission of a new request in accordance with paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of this Article. In requesting a further extension period a State Party shall submit relevant additional information on what has been undertaken in the previous extension period pursuant to this Article.
International cooperation and assistance
1. In fulfilling its obligations under this Convention each State Party has the right to seek and receive assistance, where feasible, from other States Parties to the extent possible.
2. Each State Party undertakes to facilitate and shall have the right to participate in the fullest possible exchange of equipment, material and scientific and technological information concerning the implementation of this Convention. The States Parties shall not impose undue restrictions on the provision of mine clearance equipment and related technological information for humanitarian purposes.
3. Each State Party in a position to do so shall provide assistance for the care and rehabilitation, and social and economic reintegration, of mine victims and for mine awareness programs. Such assistance may be provided, inter alia, through the United Nations system, international, regional or national organizations or institutions, the International Committee of the Red Cross, national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies and their International Federation, non-governmental organizations, or on a bilateral basis.
4. Each State Party in a position to do so shall provide assistance for mine clearance and related activities. Such assistance may be provided, inter alia, through the United Nations system, international or regional organizations or institutions, non-governmental organizations or institutions, or on a bilateral basis, or by contributing to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Clearance, or other regional funds that deal with demining.
5. Each State Party in a position to do so shall provide assistance for the destruction of stockpiled anti-personnel mines.
6. Each State Party undertakes to provide information to the database on mine clearance established within the United Nations system, especially informationconcerning various means and technologies of mine clearance, and lists of experts, expert agencies or national points of contact on mine clearance.
7. States Parties may request the United Nations, regional organizations, other States Parties or other competent intergovernmental or non-governmental fora to assist its authorities in the elaboration of a national demining program to determine, inter alia:
a) The extent and scope of the anti-personnel mine problem;
b) The financial, technological and human resources that are required for the implementation of the program;
c) The estimated number of years necessary to destroy all anti- personnel mines in mined areas under the jurisdiction or control of the concerned State Party;
d) Mine awareness activities to reduce the incidence of mine- related injuries or deaths;
e) Assistance to mine victims;
f) The relationship between the Government of the concerned State Party and the relevant governmental, inter-governmental or non-governmental entities that will work in the implementation of the program.
8. Each State Party giving and receiving assistance under the provisions of this Article shall cooperate with a view to ensuring the full and prompt implementation of agreed assistance programs.
1. Each State Party shall report to the Secretary-General of the United Nations as soon as practicable, and in any event not later than 180 days after the entry into force of this Convention for that State Party on:
a) The national implementation measures referred to in Article 9;
b) The total of all stockpiled anti-personnel mines owned or possessed by it, or under its jurisdiction odr control, to include a breakdown of the type, quantity and, if possible, lot numbers of each type of anti-personnel mine stockpiled;
c) To the extent possible, the location of all mined areas that contain, or are suspected to contain, anti-personnel mines under its jurisdiction or control, to include as much detail as possible regarding the type and quantity of each type of anti- personnel mine in each mined area and when they were emplaced;
d) The types, quantities and, if possible, lot numbers of all anti- personnel mines retained or transferred for the development of and training in mine detection, mine clearance or mine destruction techniques, or transferred for the purpose of destruction, as well as the institutions authorized by a State Party to retain or transfer anti-personnel mines, in accordance with Article 3;
e) The status of programs for the conversion or de-commissioning of anti-personnel mine production facilities;
f) The status of programs for the destruction of anti-personnel mines in accordance with Articles 4 and 5, including details of the methods which will be used in destruction, the location of all destruction sites and the applicable safety and environmental standards to be observed;
g) The types and quantities of all anti-personnel mines destroyed after the entry into force of this Convention for that State Party, to include a breakdown of the quantity of each type of anti- personnel mine destroyed, in accordance with Articles 4 and 5, respectively, along with, if possible, the lot numbers of each type of anti-personnel mine in the case of destruction in accordance with Article 4;
h) The technical characteristics of each type of anti-personnel mine produced, to the extent known, and those currently owned or possessed by a State Party, giving, where reasonably possible, such categories of information as may facilitate identification and clearance of anti-personnel mines; at a minimum, this information shall include the dimensions, fusing, explosive content, metallic content, colour photographs and other information which may facilitate mine clearance; and
i) The measures taken to provide an immediate and effective warning to the population in relation to all areas identified under paragraph 2 of Article 5.
2. The information provided in accordance with this Article shall be updated by the States Parties annually, covering the last calendar year, and reported to the Secretary-General of the United Nations not later than 30 April of each year.
3. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit all such reports received to the States Parties.
Facilitation and clarification of compliance
1. The States Parties agree to consult and cooperate with each other regarding the implementation of the provisions of this Convention, and to work together in a spirit of cooperation to facilitate compliance by States Parties with their obligations under this Convention.
2. If one or more States Parties wish to clarify and seek to resolve questions relating to compliance with the provisions of this Convention by another State Party, it may submit, through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, a Request for Clarification of that matter to that State Party. Such a request shall be accompanied by all appropriate information. Each State Party shall refrain from unfounded Requests for Clarification, care being taken to avoid abuse. A State Party that receives a Request for Clarification shall provide, through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, within 28 days to the requesting State Party all information which would assist in clarifying this matter.
3. If the requesting State Party does not receive a response through the Secretary-General of the United Nations within that time period, or deems the response to the Request for Clarification to be unsatisfactory, it may submit the matter through the Secretary-General of the United Nations to the next Meeting of the States Parties. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit the submission, accompanied by all appropriate information pertaining to the Request for Clarification, to all States Parties. All such information shall be presented to the requested State Party which shall have the right to respond.
4. Pending the convening of any meeting of the States Parties, any of the States Parties concerned may request the Secretary-General of the United Nations to exercise his or her good offices to facilitate the clarification requested.
5. The requesting State Party may propose through the Secretary-General of the United Nations the convening of a Special Meeting of the States Parties to consider the matter. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall thereupon communicate this proposal and all information submitted by the States Parties concerned, to all States Parties with a request that they indicate whether they favour a Special Meeting of the States Parties, for the purpose of considering the matter. In the event that within 14 days from the date of such communication, at least one-third of the States Parties favours such a Special Meeting, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall convene this Special Meeting of the States Parties within a further 14 days. A quorum for this Meeting shall consist of a majority of States Parties.
6. The Meeting of the States Parties or the Special Meeting of the States Parties, as the case may be, shall first determine whether to consider the matter further, taking into account all information submitted by the States Parties concerned. The Meeting of the States Parties or the Special Meeting of the States Parties shall make every effort to reach a decision by consensus. If despite all efforts to that end no agreement has been reached, it shall take this decision by a majority of States Parties present and voting.
7. All States Parties shall cooperate fully with the Meeting of the States Parties or the Special Meeting of the States Parties in the fulfilment of its review of the matter, including any fact-finding missions that are authorized in accordance with paragraph 8.
8. If further clarification is required, the Meeting of the States Parties or the Special Meeting of the States Parties shall authorize a fact-finding mission and decide on its mandate by a majority of States Parties present and voting. At any time the requested State Party may invite a fact-finding mission to its territory. Such a mission shall take place without a decision by a Meeting of the States Parties or a Special Meeting of the States Parties to authorize such a mission. The mission, consisting of up to 9 experts, designated and approved in accordance with paragraphs 9 and 10, may collect additional information on the spot or in other places directly related to the alleged compliance issue under the jurisdiction or control of the requested State Party.
9. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall prepare and update a list of the names, nationalities and other relevant data of qualified experts provided by States Parties and communicate it to all States Parties. Any expert included onthis list shall be regarded as designated for all fact-finding missions unless a State Party declares its non-acceptance in writing. In the event of non-acceptance, the expert shall not participate in fact-finding missions on the territory or any other place under the jurisdiction or control of the objecting State Party, if the non-acceptance was declared prior to the appointment of the expert to such missions.
10. Upon receiving a request from the Meeting of the States Parties or a Special Meeting of the States Parties, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall, after consultations with the requested State Party, appoint the members of the mission, including its leader. Nationals of States Parties requesting the fact-finding mission or directly affected by it shall not be appointed to the mission. The members of the fact-finding mission shall enjoy privileges and immunities under Article VI of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, adopted on 13 February 1946.
11. Upon at least 72 hours notice, the members of the fact-finding mission shall arrive in the territory of the requested State Party at the earliest opportunity. The requested State Party shall take the necessary administrative measures to receive, transport and accommodate the mission, and shall be responsible for ensuring the security of the mission to the maximum extent possible while they are on territory under its control.
12. Without prejudice to the sovereignty of the requested State Party, the fact-finding mission may bring into the territory of the requested State Party the necessary equipment which shall be used exclusively for gathering information on the alleged compliance issue. Prior to its arrival, the mission will advise the requested State Party of the equipment that it intends to utilize in the course of its fact-finding mission.
13. The requested State Party shall make all efforts to ensure that the fact-finding mission is given the opportunity to speak with all relevant persons who may be able to provide information related to the alleged compliance issue.
14. The requested State Party shall grant access for the fact-finding mission to all areas and installations under its control where facts relevant to the compliance issue could be expected to be collected. This shall be subject to any arrangements that the requested State Party considers necessary for:
a) The protection of sensitive equipment, information and areas;
b) The protection of any constitutional obligations the requested State Party may have with regard to proprietary rights, searches and seizures, or other constitutional rights; or
c) The physical protection and safety of the members of the fact- finding mission.
In the event that the requested State Party makes such arrangements, it shall make every reasonable effort to demonstrate through alternative means its compliance with this Convention.
15. The fact-finding mission may remain in the territory of the State Party concerned for no more than 14 days, and at any particular site no more than 7 days, unless otherwise agreed.
16. All information provided in confidence and not related to the subject matter of the fact-finding mission shall be treated on a confidential basis.
17. The fact-finding mission shall report, through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to the Meeting of the States Parties or the Special Meeting of the States Parties the results of its findings.
18. The Meeting of the States Parties or the Special Meeting of the States Parties shall consider all relevant information, including the report submitted by the fact-finding mission, and may request the requested State Party to take measures to address the compliance issue within a specified period of time. The requested State Party shall report on all measures taken in response to this request.
19. The Meeting of the States Parties or the Special Meeting of the States Parties may suggest to the States Parties concerned ways and means to further clarify or resolve the matter under consideration, including the initiation of appropriate procedures in conformity with international law. In circumstances where the issue at hand is determined to be due to circumstances beyond the control of the requested State Party, the Meeting of the States Parties or the Special Meeting of the States Parties may recommend appropriate measures, including the use of cooperative measures referred to in Article 6.
20. The Meeting of the States Parties or the Special Meeting of the States Parties shall make every effort to reach its decisions referred to in paragraphs 18 and 19 by consensus, otherwise by a two-thirds majority of States Parties present and voting.
National implementation measures
Each State Party shall take all appropriate legal, administrative and other measures, including the imposition of penal sanctions, to prevent and suppress any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Convention undertaken by persons or on territory under its jurisdiction or control.
Settlement of disputes
1. The States Parties shall consult and cooperate with each other to settle any dispute that may arise with regard to the application or the interpretation of this Convention. Each State Party may bring any such dispute before the Meeting of the States Parties.
2. The Meeting of the States Parties may contribute to the settlement of the dispute by whatever means it deems appropriate, including offering its good offices, calling upon the States parties to a dispute to start the settlement procedure of their choice and recommending a time-limit for any agreed procedure.
3. This Article is without prejudice to the provisions of this Convention on facilitation and clarification of compliance.
Meetings of the States Parties
1. The States Parties shall meet regularly in order to consider any matter with regard to the application or implementation of this Convention, including:
a) The operation and status of this Convention;
b) Matters arising from the reports submitted under the provisions of this Convention;
c) International cooperation and assistance in accordance with Article 6;
d) The development of technologies to clear anti-personnel mines;
e) Submissions of States Parties under Article 8; and
f) Decisions relating to submissions of States Parties as provided for in Article 5.
2. The First Meeting of the States Parties shall be convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations within one year after the entry into force of this Convention. The subsequent meetings shall be convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations annually until the first Review Conference.
3. Under the conditions set out in Article 8, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall convene a Special Meeting of the States Parties.
4. States not parties to this Convention, as well as the United Nations, other relevant international organizations or institutions, regional organizations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and relevant non-governmental organizations may be invited to attend these meetings as observers in accordance with the agreed Rules of Procedure.
1. A Review Conference shall be convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations five years after the entry into force of this Convention. Further Review Conferences shall be convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations if so requested by one or more States Parties, provided that the interval between Review Conferences shall in no case be less than five years. All States Parties to this Convention shall be invited to each Review Conference.
2. The purpose of the Review Conference shall be:
a) To review the operation and status of this Convention;
b) To consider the need for and the interval between further Meetings of the States Parties referred to in paragraph 2 of Article 11;
c) To take decisions on submissions of States Parties as provided for in Article 5; and
d) To adopt, if necessary, in its final report conclusions related to the implementation of this Convention.
3. States not parties to this Convention, as well as the United Nations, other relevant international organizations or institutions, regional organizations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and relevant non-governmental organizations may be invited to attend each Review Conference as observers in accordance with the agreed Rules of Procedure.
1. At any time after the entry into force of this Convention any State Party may propose amendments to this Convention. Any proposal for an amendment shall be communicated to the Depositary, who shall circulate it to all States Parties and shall seek their views on whether an Amendment Conference should be convened to consider the proposal. If a majority of the States Parties notify the Depositary no later than 30 days after its circulation that they support further consideration of the proposal, the Depositary shall convene an Amendment Conference to which all States Parties shall be invited.
2. States not parties to this Convention, as well as the United Nations, other relevant international organizations or institutions, regional organizations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and relevant non-governmental organizations may be invited to attend each Amendment Conference as observers in accordance with the agreed Rules of Procedure.
3. The Amendment Conference shall be held immediately following a Meeting of the States Parties or a Review Conference unless a majority of the States Parties request that it be held earlier.
4. Any amendment to this Convention shall be adopted by a majority of two-thirds of the States Parties present and voting at the Amendment Conference. The Depositary shall communicate any amendment so adopted to the States Parties.
5. An amendment to this Convention shall enter into force for all States Parties to this Convention which have accepted it, upon the deposit with the Depositary of instruments of acceptance by a majority of States Parties. Thereafter it shall enter into force for any remaining State Party on the date of deposit of its instrument of acceptance.
1. The costs of the Meetings of the States Parties, the Special Meetings of the States Parties, the Review Conferences and the Amendment Conferences shall be borne by the States Parties and States not parties to this Convention participating therein, in accordance with the United Nations scale of assessment adjusted appropriately.
2. The costs incurred by the Secretary-General of the United Nations under Articles 7 and 8 and the costs of any fact-finding mission shall be borne by the States Parties in accordance with the United Nations scale of assessment adjusted appropriately.
This Convention, done at Oslo, Norway, on 18 September 1997, shall be open for signature at Ottawa, Canada, by all States from 3 December 1997 until 4 December 1997, and at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 5 December 1997 until its entry into force.
Ratification, acceptance, approval or accession
1. This Convention is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval of the Signatories.
2. It shall be open for accession by any State which has not signed the Convention.
3. The instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be deposited with the Depositary.
Entry into force
1. This Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the sixth month after the month in which the 40th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession has been deposited.
2. For any State which deposits its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession after the date of the deposit of the 40th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, this Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the sixth month after the date on which that State has deposited its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
Any State may at the time of its ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, declare that it will apply provisionally paragraph 1 of Article 1 of this Convention pending its entry into force.
The Articles of this Convention shall not be subject to reservations.
Duration and withdrawal
1. This Convention shall be of unlimited duration.
2. Each State Party shall, in exercising its national sovereignty, have the right to withdraw from this Convention. It shall give notice of such withdrawal to all other States Parties, to the Depositary and to the United Nations Security Council. Such instrument of withdrawal shall include a full explanation of the reasons motivating this withdrawal.
3. Such withdrawal shall only take effect six months after the receipt of the instrument of withdrawal by the Depositary. If, however, on the expiry of that six-month period, the withdrawing State Party is engaged in an armed conflict, the withdrawal shall not take effect before the end of the armed conflict.
4. The withdrawal of a State Party from this Convention shall not in any way affect the duty of States to continue fulfilling the obligations assumed under any relevant rules of international law.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations is hereby designated as the Depositary of this Convention.
The original of this Convention, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
1 All funds in Canadian dollars.
2 The 1998 fiscal year is defined as April 1, 1998 to March 31, 1999.
3 “Mine Action and Effective Coordination,: The United Nations Policy” endorsed by the Secretary General in September 1998.
1 "Mine Action and Effective Coordination: the United Nations Policy,” A/53/496, Annex II, dated 14 October 1998. This policy was welcomed by the UN General Assembly in resolution A/53/26 adopted on 17 November 1998.
1 Article 6 provides that "Each State Party in a position to do so shall provide assistance for the care and rehabilitation, and social and economic reintegration, of mine victims and for mine awareness programs. Such assistance may be provided, interalia, through the United Nations system, international, regional or national organizations or institutions, the International Committee of the Red Cross, national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies and their International Federation,non-governmental organizations, or on a bilateral basis." Italics added.For the purposes of this paper "anti-vehicle mines" means all land mines other then anti-personnel mines. An anti-handling device is a device which is part of, linked to, attached to or placed under a mine and which activates when an attempt is made to tamper with or otherwise intentionally disturb the mine.
2 Italics Added.
3 For the purposes of this paper “anti-vehicle mines” means all landmines other than anti-personnel mines. An anti-handling device is a device which is part of, linked to, attached to or placed under a mine and which activates when an attempt is made to tamper with or otherwise intentionally disturb the mine.
1 Anthony A. D’Amato, The Concept of Custom in International Law, p. 4 (1971).
2 Malcolm N. Shaw, International Law, 2nd edition (1986) p. 59, citing Unger, Law in Modern Society (1976). For further discussion of the meaning of custom and its importance in international law see Oppenheim’s International Law, 9th edition (1992), p. 25, citing Gianni, La coutume en droit international (1931), Thirlway, International Customary Law and Codification (1972) et al.
3 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, opened for signature May 23, 1969, UNTS Regis. No. 18,232, UN Doc. A/CONF.39/27 (1969) reprinted at 8 ILM 679 (1969); North Sea Continental Shelf Cases (FRG/Den.: FRG/Neth.), 1969 ICJ Rep. 3, 198, paragraph 71, (describing the way in which customary law would emerge from a treaty provision “which, while only conventional or contractual in its origin, has since passed into the general corpus of international law, and is now accepted as such by the opinio juris, so as to have become binding even for countries which have never, and do not, become parties to the Convention.”).
4 Shaw, supra note 2, p. 79, (stating “where treaties reflect customary law then non-parties are bound, not because it is a treaty provision but because it reaffirms a rule or rules of customary international law.”). The only states not bound by a customary norm are those that systematically oppose it, known as ‘persistent objectors.’ This is discussed in Section II(C).
5 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Landmines and On Their Destruction. Henceforth, ‘Mine Ban Treaty’ or ‘the treaty.’ Note that there is no legal distinction between ‘convention’ and ‘treaty.’ A treaty is defined in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties as “an international agreement concluded between states in written form and governed by international law, whether embodied in a single instrument or two or more related instruments and whatever its particular designation.” Supra note 3, Art. 2(1)(a).
6 We use the word ‘norm’ in its legal sense, so that ‘customary norm’ is synonymous with ‘customary law.’
7 When the treaty entered into force on March 1, 1999, 134 governments had signed it and 65 had ratified it. See http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/mines/1999/icbl.
8 D’Amato, supra note 1, p. 104.
9 Jonathan I. Charney, The Persistent Objector Rule and the Development of Customary International Law, 56 Brit. Y.B. Int’l L. 1, 2. (1985).
10 See Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, supra note 3, Article 38 (“Nothing in articles 34 to 37 precludes a rule set forth in a treaty from becoming binding upon a third State as a customary rule of international law”); see also Ted L. Stein, The Approach of the Different Drummer: The Principle of the Persistent Objector in International Law, 26 Harv. Int’l L.J. 457, 458 (1985).
11 Supra note 5, Art.6, describing technical cooperation, and Art. 13, on amendments.
12 Oppenheim’s International Law, 9th edition (1992), p. 27.
13 See, e.g., The North Sea Continental Shelf Cases, supra note 3, paragraph 77 (describing the belief requirement: “The States concerned must therefore feel that they are conforming to what amounts to a legal obligation. The frequency, or even habitual character of the acts is not enough.”).
14 See, e.g. Harold Hongju Koh, Is International Law Really State Law? 111 Harv. L. Rev. 1824 (1998); but see Curtis A. Bradley & Jack L. Goldsmith, Federal Courts and the Incorporation of International Law, 111 Harv. L. Rev. 2260 (1998); Curtis A. Bradley & Jack L. Goldsmith, Customary International Law as Federal Common Law: A Critique of the Modern Position, 110 Harv. L. Rev. 815 (1997).
15 Supra, note 7.
16 Statute of the International Court of Justice, art. 38(1), annexed to the U.N. Charter.
17 See, e.g., Rudolf Bernhardt, Customary International Law, in: R. Bernhardt (ed), Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Volume I (1992), p. 901; D’Amato, supra note 1; Mark W. Janis, An Introduction to International Law p. 41-54 (1993).
18 Ian Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law, p. 5 (1990).
19 Shaw, supra note 2, p. 62, citing Gény, Méthode d’interprétation et sources en droit privé positif (1899).
20 The “Lotus” Case, 1927 P.C.I.J. , Series A, No. 10, 1927, p. 28.
21 North Sea Continental Shelf Cases, supra note 3, paragraph 77.
22 Case Concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities In and Against Nicaragua (Nicar. v. U.S.), 1986 I.C.J. 14 (Merits Judgment, June 27), (1986), paragraph 205, quoting The North Sea Continental Shelf Cases, I.C.J. Reports 1969, paragraph 77.
23 Id, paragraphs 188, 191.
24 American Law Institute, Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States (1987) Reporter’s Notes to § 102.
25 Oscar Schachter, International Law in Theory and Practice, p. 9 (1991).
26 Supra note 3, paragraph 73.
27 Mark E. Villiger, Customary International Law and Treaties p. 28, paragraph 75 (1985) citing Res 1721 A(XVI) of 20 December 1961, and Res 1962 XVIII of 13 Decembr 1963 containing the Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space. Villiger notes other scholars’ claims for instant custom, but is skeptical of that notion himself.
28 Brownlie, supra note 18, p. 5.
29 Shaw, supra note 2, p. 63.
30 Brownlie, supra note 18; Stein, supra note 10, p. 458 (stating that “this standard does not require universal participation, nor the participation of the state to which the rule is applied.”)
31 Supra note 22, paragraph 186.
32 Supra note 3, paragraphs 73, 74.
33 Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons, 1996 I.C.J. 226 (July 8), reprinted in 35 I.L.M. 809 (1996).
34 R.R. Baxter, Multilateral Treaties as Evidence of Customary International Law, 41 Brit. Y.B. Int’l L. 275, 300 (1965-66).
35 Supra note 22, p. 109, paragraph 207.
37 Prosecutor v. Tadic, Decision on the Defense Motion for Interlocutory Appeal on Jurisdiction, Case No. IT-94-AR72 (1995), p. 48-74, paragraphs 86-145.
38 Theodor Meron, The Continuing Role of Custom in the Formation of International Humanitarian Law, 90 Am. J. Int’l L. 238, 240 (1996).
39 Louis Sohn, The New International Law: Protection of the Rights of Individuals Rather than States, 32 Am. U. L. Rev. 1, 16 (1982).
40 American Law Institute, Restatement (Third) The Foreign Relations Law of the United States § 702 (1987).
41 See the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 39 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 51) 197, U.N. Doc. A/39/51 (1984). It is interesting to compare this treaty with the Landmine Ban Treaty. In both cases, NGOs helped to develop public consensus in many countries, perhaps contributing to the unusually rapid development of opinio juris and customary law.
42 Stein, supra note 10, p. 465.
43 Charney, supra note 9, p. 2.
44 Stein, supra note 10, p. 458.
45 Id. (emphasis added); see also Charney, supra note 9, p. 2 (noting that “virtually all authorities maintain that a State which objects to an evolving rule of general customary international law can be exempted from its obligations”).
46 Stein, supra note 10, p. 459.
47 But see Charney, supra note 9, p. 24 (concluding that the “persistent objector rule is, at best, only of temporary or strategic value in the evolution of rules….).The “persistent objector” principle, moreover, may itself admit of exception for certain jus cogens norms, peremptory rules of international law from which no derogation is permitted (e.g., the prohibition against genocide.) The threshold of state practice and opinio juris needed to establish that some customary international law rule is jus cogens, however, remains extremely high; at present, customary international law concerning landmines almost certainly fails to rise to this level.
49 G.A. Res. 51/45S, U.N. GAOR, 51ST Sess., U.N. Doc. A/RES/51/45/Add.11 (1997).
50 Howard Williams, 125 Nations Line up to Sign Treaty Banning Anti-Human Landmines, Agence France-Presse, Dec. 3, 1997.
51 Human Rights Watch, North African Countries Urged to Ban Landmines (visited Jan. 28, 1999) <http://www.hrw.org/press/1999/jan/naf0125>.
52 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, supra note 10, Art. 38.
53 See, e.g. Baxter, supra note 33, p. 294.
54 11 Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuernberg Military Tribunals Under Control Council Law No. 10, p. 462 (1948). Also see Theodor Meron, The Geneva Conventions as Customary Law, 81 Am. J. Intl. L., p. 359 (1987).
55 Antonio Cassese, The Geneva Protocols of 1977 on the Humanitarian Law of Armed Conflict and Customary International Law, 3:55 Pacific Basin L.J. 1984; Meron, Id.
56 Memorandum for the United States as Amicus Curiae, Filartiga v. Peña-Irala, 630 F.2nd 876 (2nd Cir. 1980) (No. 79-6090), reprinted in 19 I.L.M. 585 (1980).
57 The Declaration of St. Petersburg, signed on 29 November, 1868, 1 A.J.I.L. (Supp.) 95-96 (1907).
58 See, e.g. Treaty (II) with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land (“Hague II”), Article 239(e), prohibiting the use of “arms, projectiles or material of a nature to cause superfluous injury” and the Treaty (IV) Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land (“Hague IV”).
59 Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field (Geneva Convention No. I) Aug. 12, 1949, 75 UNTS 31; Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of the Armed Forces at Sea (GenevaConvention No. II), Aug. 12, 1949, 75 UNTS 85; Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (Geneva Convention No. III), Aug. 12, 1949,75 UNTS 135;Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Geneva Convention No. IV), Aug. 12, 1949, 75 UNTS 287.
60 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Treatys of 12 August 1949, Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Aug. 15, 1977, 1125 U.N.T.S. 3, 3608, 16 I.L.M. 1391, 1391442
61 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Treatys of 12 August 1949, Relating to the Protection of Victims of NonInternational Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), Aug. 15, 1977, 1125 U.N.T.S. 609, 609699, 16 I.L.M. 1443, 1443449.
62 Landmines: A Deadly Legacy, The Arms Project, Human Rights Watch, and Physicians for Human Rights, 275.
63 See, e.g. Antipersonnel Landmines: Friend or Foe? A Study of the Military Use and Effectiveness of Antipersonnel Mines. International Committee of the Red Cross, 1996.
64 This section was prepared using secondary sources, before the final versions of the Landmine Monitor reports were available. The reports are authoritative for any data on state practice.
65 See John Ryle, City of Words, The Guardian, Dec. 8, 1997, at 5.
66 Office of the Secretary General, UN Press Briefings, Press Conference Marking the Fortieth Ratification of Landmines Convention Triggering March 1999 Entry into Force, http://1www.un.org//.
67 John Ryle, The Landmines Ban and its Discontents, New York Review of Books, Nov. 5, 1998, p. 61.
69 UN Press Briefing, Press Conference on Antipersonnel Mine Convention, Oct. 1, 1998 http://1www.un.org//.
70 See China, Russia, US ‘feeling the heat’ for not signing landmine pact,” Agence France-Presse, Dec. 2, 1998.
71 Such a case need not be filed by one state against another. The International Court of Justice also issues advisory opinions, like the Nuclear Weapons one.
1 A third part of the report examines specific instances of national legal implementation and assesses the extent to which they comply with the Ottawa Convention. It is available in full from VERTIC.
2 Lord Gore-Booth and D. Pakenham (eds), Satow’s Guide to Diplomatic Practice, 1979, Longman, London, p. 270.
3 M. Whiteman, Digest of International Law, 1970, Department of State Publication, Washington DC, Vol. 14, p. 50. See, however, I. Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law (5th Ed.), 1998, p. 611 and references to Lauterpacht and Fitzmaurice.
4 That the act of signing is a first step to participation in a convention, which establishes a provisional status in favour of a state, with certain resulting rights for that state, was expressly recognised by a majority of the International Court of Justice in its Advisory Opinion on Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1951) ICJ 15, p. 28.
5 Cf Article 18 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969. See also Ian Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law (5th Ed.) 1998, p. 611. Debate continues amongst international scholars as to whether the obligation contained in Article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969 constitutes a codification or a progressive development of customary international law principles. The arguments for and against each position are canvassed in J.S. Charme, ‘The Interim Obligation of Article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties: Making Sense of an Enigma’ (1991), 25 Geo. Wash. J. Int’l L. and Econ. 71. Charme argues that Article 18 does constitute a codification, so that it can be said that the obligation in Article 18 exists as a matter of customary international law also. For a discussion to the contrary, see also Sir I. Sinclair, The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (2nd ed) 1984, Manchester University Press, p. 43.
6 It should be noted that this obligation is quite different to the obligation which signatories to the Ottawa Convention may elect to adopt under Article 18 of the Ottawa Convention, namely to apply the Ottawa Convention provisionally between their ratification and the Convention’s entry into force.
7 Lord Gore-Booth and D. Pakenham (eds) Satow’s Guide to Diplomatic Practice, 1979, Longman, London, pp. 270-1.
8 Lord Gore-Booth and D. Pakenham (eds) Satow’s Guide to Diplomatic Practice, 1979, Longman, London, p. 273. See also M. Whiteman, Digest of International Law, 1970, Department of State Publication, Washington DC, Vol. 14, p. 62.
9 Article 21 Ottawa Convention.
10 This much is implicit in the fact that the entry into force of the Convention is determined by reference to the date of the deposit of a state’s instrument of ratification cf also article 16 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969.
11 The Ottawa Convention may be provisionally applied by a state following its deposit of an instrument of ratification and pending the entry into force of the Convention: Article 18.
12 Lord Gore-Booth and D. Pakenham (eds) Satow’s Guide to Diplomatic Practice, 1979, Longman, London, p. 276. See also M. Whiteman, Digest of International Law, 1970, Department of State Publication, Washington, Vol. 14, pp. 93-4.
13 Article 16(2) Ottawa Convention.
14 By implication from the terms of Article 17.
15 Cf Article 16 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969.
16 Article 17 Ottawa Convention.
17 The International Law Commission has described ‘acceptance’ as an ‘innovation which is more one of terminology than of method’: see the references to the comments of the International Law Commission on acceptance and approval generally in M. Whiteman, Digest of International Law, 1970, Department of State Publication, Washington, Vol. 14, p. 109. See also Lord Gore-Booth and D. Pakenham (eds) Satow’s Guide to Diplomatic Practice, 1979, Longman, London, p. 282.
18 Lord Gore-Booth and D. Pakenham (eds) Satow’s Guide to Diplomatic Practice, 1979, Longman, London, p. 283.
19 Lord Gore-Booth and D. Pakenham (eds) Satow’s Guide to Diplomatic Practice, 1979, Longman, London, p. 283.
20 Cf Article 16 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969.
21 Article 17 Ottawa Convention.
22 Declarations as published on UN Treaties web site, http://www.un.org/Depts/Treaty, updated to 3 December 1998.
23 This was the declaration made by Greece at the time of its signing of the Convention, which confirmed its commitment to the principles in the Convention: ‘Greece fully subscribes to the principles enshrined within the [said Convention] and declares that ratification of this Convention will take place as soon as conditions relating to the implementation of its relevant provisions are fulfilled.’
24 Not surprisingly therefore, no states have sought to make express reservations to any provision of the Ottawa Convention.
25 See generally the decision of the International Court of Justice in its Advisory Opinion on Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1951), ICJ 15.
26 This general liberty to make reservations is reflected in Article 19 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969.
27 See Article 27 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969. See also Alabama Claims Arbitration (1872), Moore, Arbitrations, i. 653.
28 However, see below under ‘National Implementation’. I. Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law (5th Ed.), 1998, p. 25.
29 See Seidl-Hohenveldern, 12 ICLQ (1963), pp. 105-7.
30 Salomom v Commissioners of Customs and Excise  2QB 116, CA at 141 per Lord Denning.
31 See below. I. Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law (5th Ed.) 1998, p 25.
32 Brownlie, Ian, Principles of Public International Law, Fifth Edition, 1998, p. 318.
33 Before the end of August 1999.