The Landmines Question:An Overview of the Ottawa Process

-Shankari Sundararaman, Researcher, IDSA


In December 1997, a landmark treaty came into existence which was the culmination of fourteen months of negotiation and diplomatic activity to usher in a ban on the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of anti-personnel mines. This fast-track diplomatic approach which came to be known as the Ottawa Process, was conceived and implemented as the first step in tackling the issue of the widespread usage of anti-personnel mines in international conflicts. Anti-personnel mines have been in usage since the American Civil War and the Crimean War, and initially remained limited to specific theatres of war. However, the shift in the nature of conflict, from inter-state to intra-state, has led to the extensive and unrestricted usage of landmines in conflicts. This proliferation of landmines has created an international humanitarian crisis, the extent of which is emphasised only by the staggering numbers of persons injured or killed every year.1 In response to this humanitarian angle the international community began and endorsed the Ottawa Treaty which had as its signatories 123 countries calling for a ban on the anti-personnel mines.

Background to the Ottawa Process

The humanitarian compulsions of the landmines question and certain tenets of international law brought into focus the need for a ban on the anti-personnel landmines. Two sources of international law that governed the issue were international humanitarian law and treaty law. The first which refers to international humanitarian law specifically gives two fundamental rules that can be applied to the usage of landmines, Primarily it states that, "parties to a conflict must always distinguish between civilians and combatants. Civilians may not be directly attacked and indiscriminate attacks and the usage of indiscriminate weapons are prohibited."2 This is one of the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law and was codified in Article 51 of Protocol I of the 1977 addition to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. The second rule prohibits the use of weapons which cause unnecessary suffering, thereby prohibiting weapons whose damaging effects are disproportionate to their military purpose. This principle of humanitarian law dates back to the 1868 St. Petersburg Declaration and has recently been codified in Article 35 of the Additional Protocol 1 of 1977.3

The second source, treaty law, was applicable to those countries that acceded to specific treaties. In the context of the issue of banning anti-personnel mines, the only relevant text is the Convention on the Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which may be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, referred to as the CCW, that was adopted in 1980. A revised Protocol II was added to this treaty, entitled the Protocol on the Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices.4 Table I shows a list of states that have adhered to the initial CCW and its revised Protocols. According to the statistics of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), only 66 states have acceded to the original 1980 Convention and the amended Protocol II of 1996 had a total of only four signatories. Several weaknesses within the framework of the CCW were responsible for the low level of response from countries, among which provisions regarding lack of mechanisms for follow up and regular implementation of the terms and conditionalities were two fundamental deficiencies in the treaty.5 By January 1998, 18 states had adhered to Protocol IV and 14 to Protocol II as amended. These two instruments can enter into force as tenets of international law six months after 20 states have notified the United Nations Secretary General of their binding consent.6

Table 1. 1980 UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)

States which have adhered to the Convention and annexed Protocols

State Date of Protocol Protocol Protocol Protocol Protocol II

Adherence* I II III IV Amended

(1980) (1980) (1980) (1995)** (1996)**

Argentina 2.10.95 2.10.95 2.10.95 2.10.95

Australia 29.9.8 29.9.83 29.9.83 29.9.83

Austria 14.3.83 14.3.83 14.3.83 14.3.83

Belarus 23.6.82 23.6.82 23.6.82 23.6.82

Belgium 7.2.95 7.2.95 7.2.95 7.2.95

Benin 27.3.89 27.3.89 27.3.89


Herzegovina 1.9.93 1.9.93 1.9.93 1.9.93

Brazil 3.10.95 3.10.95 3.10.95 3.10.95

Bulgaria 15.10.82 15.10.82 15.10.82 15.10.82

Cambodia 25.3.97 25.3.97 25.3.97 25.3.97 25.3.97 25.3.97

Canada 24.6.94 24.6.94 24.6.94 24.6.94

China 7.4.82 7.4.82 7.4.82 7.4.82

Croatia 2.12.93 2.12.93 2.12.93 2.12.93

Cuba 2.3.87 2.3.87 2.3.87 2.3.87

Cyprus 12.12.88 12.12.88 12.12.88 12.12.88

Czech Republic 22.2.93 22.2.93 22.2.93 22.2.93

Denmark 7.7.82 7.7.82 7.7.82 7.7.82 30.4.97 30.4.97

Djibouti 29.7.96 29.7.96 29.7.96 29.7.96

Ecuador 4.5.82 4.5.82 4.5.82 4.5.82

Finland 8.5.82 8.5.82 8.5.82 8.5.82 11.1.96

France 4.3.88 4.3.88 4.3.88

Former Yugo- 30.12.96 30.12.96 30.12.96 30.12.96

slav Republic of


Germany 25.11.92 25.11.92 25.11.92 25.11.92 2.5.97

Georgia 29.4.96 29.4.96 29.4.96 29.4.96

Greece 28.1.92 28.1.92 28.1.92 28.1.92

Guatemala 21.7.83 21.7.83 21.7.83 21.7.83

Hungary 14.6.82 14.6.82 14.6.82 14.6.82

India 1.3.84 1.3.84 1.3.84 1.3.84

Ireland 13.3.95 13.3.95 13.3.95 13.3.95 27.3.97 27.3.97

Israel 22.3.95 22.3.95 22.3.95 22.3.95

Italy 20.1.95 20.1.95 20.1.95 20.1.95

Japan 9.6.82 9.6.82 9.6.82 9.6.82

Jordan 19.10.95 19.10.95 19.10.95

Lao People's 3.1.83 3.1.83 3.1.83 3.1.83

Democratic Rep.

Latvia 4.1.93 4.1.93 4.1.93 4.1.93

Lichtenstein 16.8.89 16.8.89 16.8.89 16.8.89

Luxembourg 23.5.96 23.5.96 23.5.96 23.5.96

Malta 26.6.95 26.6.95 26.6.95 26.6.95

Mauritius 6.5.96 6.5.96 6.5.96 6.5.96

Mexico 11.2.82 11.2.82 11.2.82 11.2.82

Mongolia 8.6.82 8.6.82 8.6.82 8.6.82

Netherlands 18.6.87 18.6.87 18.6.87 18.6.87

New Zealand 18.10.93 18.10.93 18.10.93 18.10.93

Niger 10.11.92 10.11.92 10.11.92 10.11.92

Norway 7.6.83 7.6.83 7.6.837.6.83

Pakistan 1.4.95 1.4.95 1.4.95 1.4.95

Panama 26.3.97 26.3.97 26.3.97 26.3.97 26.3.97

Philippiness 15.7.96 15.7.96 15.7.96 15.7.96

Poland 2.6.83 2.6.83 2.6.83 2.6.83

Portugal 4.4.97 4.4.97 4.4.97 4.4.97

Romania 26.7.95 26.7.95 26.7.95 26.7.95

Russian 10.6.82 10.6.82 10.6.82 10.6.82


Slovakia 28.5.93 28.5.93 28.5.93 28.5.93

Slovenia 6.7.92 6.7.92 6.7.92 6.7.92

South Africa 13.10.95 13.10.95 13.10.95 13.10.95

Spain 29.12.93 29.12.93 29.12.93 29.12.93

Sweden 7.7.82 7.7.82 7.7.82 7.7.82 15.1.97

Switzerland 20.8.82 20.8.82 20.8.82 20.8.82

Togo 4.12.95 4.12.95 4.12.95 4.12.95

Tunisia 15.5.87 15.5.87 15.5.87 15.5.87

Uganda 14.11.95 14.11.95 14.11.95 14.11.95

Ukraine 23.6.82 23.6.82 23.6.82 23.6.82

United Kingdom 13.2.95 13.2.95 13.2.95 13.2.95

United States 24.3.95 24.3.95 24.3.95

Uruguay 6.10.94 6.10.94 6.10.94 6.10.94

Yugoslavia 24.5.83 24.5.83 24.5.83 24.5.83

Total 66 States 66 States 64 States 63 States 6 States 4 States

* A state becomes a party to the Convention six months after the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, accession or succession.

** The Protocol will enter into force six months after the twentieth state has notified the Depository of its intention to be bound by it.

This list is based in part on information received informally by the ICRC. The authoritative list is maintained by the UN treaties database available on the Internet.

Source: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), May 5, 1997.

It was against this background that the Ottawa Treaty was conceived and formulated. The blueprint upon which the Ottawa Process was constructed was endorsed in a resolution passed by the United Nations Assembly, supported by 156 states, Resolution 51/45S which urged the states to "pursue vigorously an effective, legally binding international agreement to ban the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines with a view to completing the negotiations as soon as possible."7

This initiative was taken up by several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) led by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) which was instrumental in creating the required international awareness on the issue of landmines. This was a significant step towards achieving a global ban because even though countries had unilaterally placed moratoriums or a ban on exports, the actual move towards banning anti-personnel mines received an impetus only after 1995, especially with the increased public awareness that it gained from the work of the ICBL and its leader Jody Williams as well as the interest the late Princess of Wales took.

Three significant meetings mark the origin and growth of the final Ottawa Treaty, first among which was the Ottawa Conference of October 1996, that was initiated by the International Strategy Conference entitled, "Towards a Global Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines," popularly known as the Ottawa Process. This meeting was attended by 50 participants and 24 observer states, several inter-governmental agencies, the ICRC and international NGOs. The meeting primarily discussed the strategy that was to be adopted for achieving a global anti-personnel mines ban.8 Canada took the initiative in this meeting and its Minister for Foreign Affairs, Llyod Axworthy, requested the participating states to work towards negotiating a treaty banning anti-personnel mines by December 1997. The Final Declaration of this conference "agreed to enhance the cooperation and coordination of efforts on the basis of some concerns and goals with respect to anti-personnel mines." Five basic goals were laid down at this meeting. First, it aimed for the earliest possible conclusion of a legally binding international agreement to ban anti-personnel landmines. This is why the fast-track approach, as envisaged by the Ottawa Process was adopted. It took the diplomatic initiative and attempted within a period of fourteen months to bring about a ban on anti-personnel mines. Second, it targetted the progressive reductions in new deployment of anti-personnel mines, thereby basically halting all new deployment of mines. Third, the conference gave complete support to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 51 which called for all member states, inter alia, to implement a national moratorium, ban or other restrictions, particularly on operational use and transfer of anti-personnel mines at the earliest possible date. Fourth, it called for regional and sub-regional activities which would lend credence to the attempt to ban anti-personnel mines at a global level. Fifth, the agenda was also set for the next meeting at the Belgium Conference of June 1997 where the advances that would be made in the progress towards a global ban were to be assessed. Sixth, they adopted an action plan that also included the efforts for endorsing a regional initiative taken in ten specific areas across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America.9

The second meeting that moved the issue further was the Brussels Conference of June 1997, which was attended by 115 countries of whom 86 signed the Final Declaration and reiterated the earlier decisions taken at the United Nations General Assembly and also the Ottawa Conference. The conclusion of the Brussels Conference led to the endorsement of three salient features which were to be incorporated as essential elements of an agreement that addresed the issue of the use of landmines. First, it called for a ban on the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of anti-personnel mines. Second, the conference stressed the need for the destruction of the existing stockpiles and the removal of those mines that had already been deployed. Third, it emphasised the need for international cooperation and assistance in the field of mine clearance in the more severely affected countries.10 This conference acknowledged the commendable work done by the Government of Austria in preparing the Draft of the Treaty and set the agenda for the final meeting, the Oslo Diplomatic Conference hosted by the Government of Norway which was to negotiate the agreement before its final implementation at Ottawa in December 1997.11 The Oslo Conference was the final step before the treaty was signed at the Ottawa Conference. The meeting was crucial in that it discussed the draft treaty and was accepted by more than 100 states. It called for a total ban and believed that it was essential to coordinate the efforts in such a manner as to ensure total prohibition and also highlighted the need for using the ban as an important confidence-building measure.12

The Ottawa Conference and the Ottawa Treaty

The final step in this process emerged at the Ottawa Conference that was held at Ottawa, Canada, in the first week of December 1997, in which more than 100 countries participated. This ushered in the treaty to ban anti-personnel landmines and was formally called the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and Their Destruction. The treaty was signed by 123 states and is now open for ratification. This has been done by only four states so far and these are Canada, Ireland, Mauritius and Tajikistan. The treaty that was endorsed at Ottawa has in its fold several clauses that must be carefully examined. At the outset it highlights a set of general obligations that must be observed by the member signatory states which are adequately emphasised in Article 1 of the treaty. It calls on the concerned states to, under no circumstances, use anti-personnel mines; it also prohibits production, development, acquisition, stockpiling, retention or transfer of anti-personnel mines to anyone, either directly or indirectly; it calls on states to encourage and assist other non-signatories to actively join in this effort to end the scourge of landmines and further endorses the need for the destruction of the existing stockpiles in accordance with the provisions of the Convention.13

One of the more significant Articles that has been included in the treaty is Article 2 which gives the definitions of various categories of objects that are associated with landmines. The first in this describes the anti-personnel mine—there has been a great deal of criticism against the CCW which had in its definition not included the dual purpose mines which can be detonated by the presence of a person or a vehicle. The Ottawa Treaty in its definition states that an anti-personnel mine is one that is "designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person and that will incapacitate, injure or kill one or more persons." In this the treaty makes a distinction between anti-personnel and anti-vehicle mines, in that it states that those that are "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."14 Another term that is defined is anti-handling device which means a "device intended to protect a mine and which is part of, linked to, attached to or placed under the mine that activates it when an attempt is made to tamper or intentionally disturb the mine." As far as the issue of transfer is concerned, Article 2 states that transfers include the physical movement of anti-personnel mines into or from national territories and also covers the transfer of the title to, and control over, the mines. The issue of transfer, however, does not take into question the transfer of territory that contains emplaced anti-personnel mines. Other than this, the Article also deals with the definition of mines and mined territories.

Article 3 deals with the exceptions to the first two points which are the most salient features of the treaty. According to this, the only exception that can be made is in the case of retention or transferring of mines for the purpose of development and training in mine detection, mine clearance or mine destruction techniques and in this case it has maintained that only a minimum required number can be utilised for this purpose. The next issue which is dealt with in Article 4 is the question of the destruction of the mines that are in stockpiles. According to the treaty, the states are expected to destroy the stockpiles in their possession and those that are in their jurisdiction of control as soon as possible, but not exceeding four years after the treaty enters into force. This is likely to be a more difficult task since there are believed to be over 100 million such mines in stockpiles. As for the case of mines that are already deployed, the treaty gives a stipulated period of ten years within which these are to be located and destroyed, and this is comprised in Article 5. The issue of marking the areas that are mined and appropriate identification by measures such as fencing and monitoring are also highlighted in this. It states that the marking shall be carried out in accordance with the guidelines that are set in Protocol II of the CCW of 1996. There is a stipulation that in case a state cannot for reasons of its own understanding adhere to the time-frame of four years in destroying the mines laid in its territory, it can make a request to the Meeting of State Parties or to the Review Conference for an extension of the deadline up to a period of ten years. However, such a request must be accompanied by details on the duration of the extension; explanations of the reasons for such a request; the human, social, economic and environmental implications of an extension and any other information that may be considered to be necessary for this purpose. The decision to grant an extension will be taken by the Review Conference on the basis of a vote and in case a further extension is required, the same procedures have to be followed along with a report on details on what has been carried out during the first period of extension.15 Article 6 of the treaty deals with the issue of international cooperation and assistance— this is to be ensured among the various states that are party to the agreement especially in terms of providing technical knowhow and also includes the exchange of materials, equipment, scientific and technological information; it further includes assistance in the rehabilitation as well as the social and economic reintegration of the victims, mine clearance and the destruction of stockpiles. These efforts are to be provided inter alia through the United Nations or through the international or regional organisations or institutions, non-governmental organisations or instutions or even on a bilateral basis.16

One of the important features of the treaty is the emphasis that it gives to the question of transparency which is dealt with in Article 7 to the treaty. This measure is to be taken by submitting to the Secretary-General of the United Nations a report on the national implementation measures; total count of all stockpiled anti-personnel mines that are in its possession or jurisdiction of control; types, quantities and the lot numbers of those that have been retained; the status of the programmes for the conversion or the decommissioning of the production facilities that are under the control of each state; the position of the destruction process of the mines that are in stockpiles; the measures taken to provide immediate and effective warning to population in affected areas are some of the crucial points in this Article. The above mentioned information must be deposited with the UN Secretary General not later than April 30 of each year after the entry into force of the treaty.17

The question of facilitation and the clarification of compliance has been carried out in Article 8 and it specifically deals with these aspects of the treaty. In the case of a situation where there is a need for clarification, the state that is required to clarify its position must do so in accordance to the provisions that have been endorsed in the treaty. Any request for facilitation of compliance can also be accompanied by fact-finding missions that are authorised in the context of the provisions that state the nature of the mandate of such missions and which are approved by a majority vote by the Meeting of the State Parties. Even the selection of the experts that comprise the fact-finding mission is to be carried out by the Meeting of the State Parties and it must first be approved by the concerned state before it can be appointed. In the event of non-acceptance by the State Party, the expert will not be a member of the fact-finding mission. The State Party concerned shall in all events ensure that the fact-finding mission shall receive its fullest compliance and make available all the relevant material and information that is related to the alleged compliance issue. Access to all areas and installations must be granted to the mission and these measures are to be within the context of the national obligations of that particular state, in terms of protecting sensitive equipment, information and areas; safeguarding constitutional obligations, proprietary rights and the overall protection and safety of the fact-finding mission. The report of the fact-finding mission is to be communicated to the Secretary-General of the United Nations who is then authorised to pass it on to the Meeting of the State Parties after which the state concerned will be requested to carry out the measures that are required to address the compliance within a specified period of time. After the steps have been taken, the state must then report the same and this can be endorsed through a vote by consensus or even a two-thirds majority.18

In Article 9, the treaty emphasises the need for the implementation of various measures at the national level whereby appropriate legal, administrative and other measures are given due sanction. This also specifies the imposition of penal measures that are required to prevent and suppress any activity that is carried out by persons belonging to the state or on territory within its jurisdiction that may run counter to the obligations of the treaty principles. Article 10 reiterates that any dispute arising out of the application and interpretation of the Convention and clauses must be settled through consultation and cooperation among the State Parties. The State Parties Meeting may use its diplomacy and good offices in such a task and recommend a settlement procedure as well as a time period for the same.19 Articles 11 and 12 deal with the Meetings of State Parties and the Review Conferences respectively. In the case of the Meetings of the State Parties, the Secretary-General of the United Nations will call for such a meeting within one year of the entry into force of this treaty after which there will be subsequent meetings until the Review Conference. In the case of the Review Conference, it will be convened five years after the treaty enters into force. Basically the Review Conference is meant to re-examine the operation and the status of the Convention. It also looks into the implementation of decisions and prepares various reports on the progress of its conclusions.20

In the next section, the treaty under Article 13 discusses the various provisions for an amendment to any of the existing clauses. The move for an amendment has to be accompanied by a proposal for the same and has to be communicated to the Depository, that is the United Nations. At this point the other State Parties to the Convention will be informed and have to give their approval within a period of 30 days on the basis of which an Amendment Conference may be convened. An amendment is generally approved after a vote of two-thirds majority and it enters into force after all the states have submitted their instruments of acceptance. The account of the expenditure and the responsibility of the states in bearing the costs of the implementation of the Convention as well as the role of the United Nations is stressed in Article 14. The issue of signatories to the treaty is discussed in Article 15.

One of the most crucial features of the treaty is Article 16 which deals with the measures for ratification. The signing of the treaty is merely the first in the direction towards a ban on the anti-personnel mines. The difficulty lies in the actual ratification which is the first procedure that is adopted by those who are signatories to the treaty. In the case of most international agreements the signing is followed by a formal declaration of consent on the part of the signatory state which will bind it to the Convention in accordance with the completion of certain national procedures. In almost all cases, acceptance or approval is dependent upon domestic action and legislation within the national Parliaments. The second method that is adopted is a one-step process called accession which is for states who have not been signatories to the treaty but wish to accede to it. This too requires action by the national Parliament and can occur either before or after the treaty enters into force. After the formal decisions are made in consonance with the required national procedures, the state's instrument of ratification must be deposited with the Depository, which in this case is the UN Secretary-General. Only deposition of the instrument of ratification gives international legal force to the state's engagement under the Convention and further binds it to the various rights and obligations of the treaty relations with the other parties to the agreement.21

The Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines will enter into force only six months after 40 states have deposited their instrument of ratification. Even on entry into force the treaty will only be binding upon those states which have ratified or acceded to it. Each state upon ratification will be bound to the Convention only after the requisite six months have been completed.22 Thus Articles 16 and 17 have dealt with the ratification and the entry into force of the treaty.

In Article 18, there is a measure for provisional application to the treaty by which even before a state becomes a party to the Convention it can provisionally declare its adherence to the provisions endorsed in paragraph 1 of Article 1 on the non-use, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines. Under Article 19, there is a provision that no Article of the treaty shall be subject to reservations. The rules governing the question of withdrawal from this Convention as well as the duration of this are given in Article 20. According to this, the Convention is to be of unlimited duration. As for the issue of withdrawal from the Convention, there is provision for states to withdraw if they wish to do so. The process of withdrawal from the Convention must be carried out in consonance with the obligations of national sovereignty and the withdrawing party has to submit its instrument of withdrawal to the Depository of the Convention, six months after which the withdrawal is permitted. At the time of submitting the instrument of withdrawal the state has to give a full explanation of its reasons for withdrawing from the Convention. The right to withdrawal will be granted after the six month period only if the concerned state at that point is not involved in any armed conflict. The withdrawal of the State Party from the treaty shall in no way affect the fulfilment of the obligations by the others who are a party to the Convention. The last two Articles of the Convention address the question of the authority of Deposition and in Article 21 the Secretary-General of the United Nations is authorised as the Depository of this. Finally, Article 22 indicates that the authentic text of the Convention is available in Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish—all of which are deposited with the UN Secretary-General.23

As of January 1998, the total number of signatories of the Ottawa Treaty had reached 123 states (see Table 2). One of the factors to be borne in mind is that the Ottawa Treaty is probably the first treaty which has addressed the question of banning a weapon outside the auspices of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) of the United Nations. Moreover, it has not been able to bring under its fold several states that have been identified as the main producers such as China, Russia and Pakistan. The US too has remained out of the Ottawa Process and will remain so positioned until a viable option for its standing in the Korean Peninsula is worked out. India too has remained out of the Ottawa Treaty since it wants to keep open its option to use landmines in safeguarding the borders. One of the significant factors that must be borne in mind is that in the case of countries that have not signed the treaty, the exercise of the right to use does not run counter to the humanitarian cause, especially, where there is adherence to the principles of international humanitarian law as well as a restraint on exports and use. While it has spoken at length on the provisions for the states that are a party to the treaty, it has failed to specify how the supply and use of anti-personnel landmines, to and by the non-state actors, is going to be addressed. While discussing the question of transparency, this aspect has not been adequately dealt with. It is imperative to comprehend that the crisis of anti-personnel mines has reached its present state more because of their misuse by non-state actors and that very strict guidelines must be laid to tackle this issue. Not having the legal mechanism by which the treaty can be enforced, there is little chance of it making a big difference in the case of those who will remain out and will continue to produce, use and export anti-personnel mines.

Table 2. Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Production, Stockpiling and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction

State adherence and implementation as at December 12, 1997

State Signature Ratification Declaration of National Announced Total Announced

Acceptance Provisional Legislative Destruction Total Clea-

Or Approval* Application Measures Of Stockpiles* rance of Em-

placed Mines

Algeria 3.12.97

Andorra 3.12.97

Angola 4.12.97

Antigua and

Barbuda 3.12.97

Argentina 4.12.97

Australia 3.12.97

Austria 3.12.97 Yes Yes

Bahama 3.12.97

Barbados 3.12.97

Belgium 3.12.97 Yes

Benin 3.12.97

Bolivia 3.12.97

Bosnia and 3.12.97


Botswana 3.12.97

Brazil 3.12.97


Darrussalam 4.12.97

Bulgaria 3.12.97

Burkina Faso 3.12.97

Burundi 3.12.97

Cambodia 3.12.97

Cameroon 3.12.97

Canada 3.12.97 3.12.97 Yes Yes

Cape Verde 4.12.97

Chile 3.12.97

Colombia 3.12.97

Cook Islands 3.12.97

Costa Rica 3.12.97

Cote D'ivoire 3.12.97

Croatia 4.12.97

Cyprus 4.12.97


Republic 3.12.97

Denmark 4.12.97

Djibouti 3.12.97

Domica 3.12.97


Republic 3.12.97

Ecuador 4.12.97

El Salvador 4.12.97

Ethiopia 3.12.97

Fiji 3.12.97

France 3.12.97

Gabon 3.12.97

Gambia 4.12.97

Germany 3.12.97

Ghana 4.12.97

Greece 3.12.97

Grenada 3.12.97

Guatemala 3.12.97 Yes

Guinea 4.12.97

Guinea-Bissau 3.12.97

Guyana 4.12.97

Haiti 3.12.97

Holy See 4.12.97

Honduras 3.12.97

Hungary 3.12.97 Yes

Iceland 4.12.97

Indonesia 4.12.97

Ireland 3.12.97 3.12.97 Yes Yes

Italy 3.12.97 Yes

Jamaica 3.12.97

Japan 3.12.97

Kenya 5.12.97

Lesotho 4.12.97

Liechtenstein 3.12.97

Luxembourg 4.12.97 Yes

Madagascar 4.12.97

Malawi 4.12.97

Malaysia 3.12.97

Mali 3.12.97

Malta 4.12.97


Islands 4.12.97

Mauritania 3.12.97

Mauritius 3.12.97 3.12.97 Yes

Mexico 3.12.97

Monaco 4.12.97

Mozambique 3.12.97

Namibia 3.12.97

Netherlands 3.12.97

New Zealand 3.12.97

Nicaragua 4.12.97

Niger 4.12.97

Niue 3.12.97

Norway 3.12.97 Yes

Panama 4.12.97

Paraguay 3.12.97

Peru 3.12.97

Philippines 3.12.97 Yes

Poland 4.12.97

Portugal 3.12.97

Qatar 4.12.97

Republic of

Moldova 3.12.97

Romania 3.12.97

Rwanda 3.12.97

Saint Kitts and

Nevis 3.12.97

Saint Lucia 3.12.97

Saint Vincent

and the

Grenadines 3.12.97

Samoa 3.12.97

San Marino 3.12.97

Senegal 3.12.97

Seychelles 3.12.97

Slovakia 3.12.97

Slovenia 3.12.97


Islands 4.12.97

South Africa 3.12.97 Yes

Spain 3.12.97

Sudan 4.12.97

Suriname 4.12.97

Swaziland 4.12.97

Sweden 4.12.97

Switzerland 3.12.97 Yes Yes

Thailand 3.12.97

Togo 4.12.97

Trinidad and

Tobago 4.12.97


Turkmenistan 3.12.97

Uganda 3.12.97

United Kingdom 3.12.97


Republic of

Tanzania 3.12.97

Uruguay 3.12.97

Vanuatu 4.12.97

Venezuela 3.12.97

Yemen 4.12.97

Zambia 12.12.97

Zimbabwe 3.12.97 Yes

Totals 123 States 3 States 1 State 8 States 9 States 0 States

* The Convention will enter into force six month after the deposit of the 40th instrument of ratification, approval, acceptance or accession. A state becomes party to the Convention six months after the deposit of its instrument of ratification, approval, acceptance or accession.

** A small number of anti-personnel mines may be retained for mine clearance training purposes only.

Source: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), (December 12 1997).

Another issue that requires urgent attention in the post-Ottawa phase is the question of demining . This is probably the most crucial need, especially in those countries where the presence of landmines has completely disrupted the lives of the community and the society at large. As far as the issue of demining is concerned the US initiative to launch the Demining 2010 Initiative is a welcome one, which according to the US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, is aimed at "greatly accelerating the global demining operations and assistance efforts to end the plague of landmines posing a threat to civilians, through a US-led initiative to develop, marshal and commit the resources necessary to accomplish this goal by the year 2010." The US State Department in October 1997 pledged itself to raising $1 million per year for demining activities around the world. In fact, from 1993 onwards, the US has committed more than $153 million to humanitarian demining programmes. In addition to which they also have about a quarter of the demining efforts conducted under US supervision. The appointment of Ambassador Karl Inderfurth as the Special Representative to the President and the Secretary of State for global humanitarian demining activities has furthered this cause and the total commitment that has already been pledged is significant—the US has offered $87 million and this will rise by $20 million in the coming year; the European Union has given $70 million; $24 million has been given by Norway; $ 16 million by Japan; $14 million by Canada and $11 million by Germany.24

Finally, in the post-Ottawa phase there is a necessity to identify the implications that the usage of landmines have had on international development issues. In countries affected by conflict, the presence of landmines has made impossible the task of the repatriation of refugees where the moving populations have come under the threat of the presence of landmines. The human costs have had an impact on the medical resources and often funds that are required for developmental purposes are diverted to meet these needs. Any development in the post-Ottawa phase must address these questions which have become integral to any solution that may be offered on the issue of anti-personnel landmines.



1. According to estimates suggested by various studies, anti-personnel mines have a toll of nearly 26,000 injured every year: an average of 500 victims per week. For details see, " Canada and the Global Landmines Crisis" (Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, October 1, 1996, Internet Edition), p. 1.

2. Anti-personnel Landmines: Friend or Foe? A Study of the Military Use and Effectiveness of Anti-Personnel Mines (Geneva: CRC, March 1996), p. 24.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. For a detailed study of the CCW see, Unidir Newsletter, no. 28/29, December 1994/May 1995 (Geneva; UNIDIR, UN, May 1995).

6. Anti-Personnel Mines: Agenda 1998: From Prohibition to Elimination and Adequate Care for the Victims (Geneva: ICRC, January 1998), p. 3.

7. The Ottawa Process (Ottawa: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade), p. 1.

8. Ibid

9. For details see, "Chairman's Agenda for Action on Anti-Personnel (AP) Mines", World Court Project, Abolition 2000, Landmines Project, Internet Edition and "Final Declaration of Brussels Conference on Anti-Personnel Landmines", Internet Edition.

10. Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, Internet Edition.

11. Ibid

12. Ibid

13. Convention on the Prohibition of Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and On their Destruction, 18 September, 1997 (Ottawa: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade), p. 2.

14. Ibid.

15. Ibid., p. 4.

16. Ibid., p. 5.

17. Ibid., p. 6.

18. Ibid., p. 7-9

19. Ibid., p. 9-10.

20. Ibid., p. 10-11.

21. State Adherence to and Implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti- Personnel Mines and on Their Destrument (Geneva: ICRC), p.

22. Ibid, p. 2.

23. n. 13, pp. 13-14.

24. New Straits Times, December 6, 1997.