Last Updated: 28 November 2013

Mine Ban Policy

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

State not party

Pro-mine ban UNGA voting record

Abstained from voting on Resolution 67/32 in December 2012

Participation in Mine Ban Treaty meetings

None since November–December 2010


The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. In December 2010, Nepal stated that recommendations regarding accession to the Mine Ban Treaty would be completed “soon.”[1]

The November 2006 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) committed the government and the former Communist Party of Nepal/Maoist  to halt the use of mines and required the parties to assist each other to mark and clear mines and booby-traps.[2] However, efforts to draft a new constitution collapsed in 2012 and all subsequent attempts to hold elections have failed, resulting in a constitutional and political crisis in Nepal.

The reason for Nepal’s inaction in acceding to the Mine Ban Treaty remains unclear. According to a report by the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), which evaluated mine action in Nepal, “The Army seems opposed and various ministers have said that Nepal should not sign because India and China have not.”[3] The Nepal Campaign to Ban Landmines (NCBL) notes that such comments have not been openly made by Nepal security forces, who have contributed to awareness-raising and capacity-building on mine action through NCBL programs.[4]

The NCBL has received several replies from government officials regarding accession to the Mine Ban Treaty since mid-2012. In September 2012, the Secretary of the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (MoPR) stated, “as regards to this ministry, I think it is a good idea to be a party to that treaty.”[5] However, after the change of government on 14 March 2013 the former officials NCBL spoke with were transferred, and no further progress has been made towards accession.

In June 2013, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs stated to NCBL, “There needs to be technical, political and diplomatic eligibility to enter into any treaty. People are suspecting that conflict may rise in Nepal due to prolonged political instability.”[6]However, major political parties in Nepal have signed the NCBL letter of commitment to a landmine ban including most recently the chairperson of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists)(UCPN (M)), Mr. Puspa Kamal Dahal (also known as Prachanda), on 27 September 2012.[7]

In February 2010, the Minister of Peace and Reconstruction initiated a ministerial-level committee to study the responsibilities of and opportunities for becoming a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty.[8]However, the committee has not been able to compile a report due to the frequent change in personnel holding the position of minister in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Defence.[9]

Nepal did not attend the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in December 2012, despite assurances by the Secretary of Home Affairs to NCBL that Nepal officials would participate at the meeting.[10] A Joint-Secretary from the MoPR participated in the 16th International Meeting of National Mine Action Programme Directors and UN Advisors in Geneva, on 10–12 April 2013. In April 2013, the Nepali ambassador in Geneva stated that he could not participate in a meeting of the convention without approval from capital.[11] In June 2013, a Foreign Affairs official stated that officials were afraid of public condemnation if they are seen spending money to travel to meetings regardless of the issue, and that the government could not spend the money to send them.[12] Nepal did not attend the convention’s intersessional meetings in May 2013.

On 3 December 2012, Nepal abstained from voting on UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution 67/32calling for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty. This was the sixth consecutive year that Nepal abstained on the annual resolution, after voting in favor of all previous pro-ban resolutions since 1996.[13] In a June 2013 explanation of its abstention to NCBL, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative said, “The reason for abstaining in the UNGA resolutions may be that the participating teams may not be ‘well-informed’ in those matters.” He said he would send a message to the concerned authorities regarding future votes.[14]

A total of 27 of Nepal’s political parties have signed the NCBL letter to seek Nepal’s accession to the Mine Ban Treaty.[15] NCBL continued to organize public activities in 2012 to encourage accession to the Mine Ban Treaty, including events on UN Mine Awareness Day and Lend Your Leg on 4 April 2012, and the Second Anniversary of Landmine-Field Free Nepal on 14 June 2012.


On 21 June 2010, Nepal wrote to the Monitor that “Nepal does not produce any kind of antipersonnel landmines and the landmines that the Nepal Army is using have been produced abroad.”[16] Nepal repeated this in its remarks to States Parties in December 2010 at the Tenth Meeting of States Parties.[17]

Use, transfer, and stockpiling

Nepal is not known to have ever exported mines. In December 2009, the Minister for Peace and Reconstruction stated that Nepal has not planted mines since the end of the insurgency in 2006.[18] He also said that Nepal does not “enable the transfer” of mines.

During the conflict, the Nepal Army used antipersonnel mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), assembled in-country, around military installations, police posts, and infrastructure. The Nepal Army has stated that it started using mines in 2002 and estimates it deployed around 14,000 antipersonnel mines (including 11,000 PMD-6 mines and 3,000 POMZ-2 and M14 mines). It also estimates that it used about 25,000 command-detonated IEDs.[19] In June 2010, Nepal told the Monitor that it used mines in 53 locations and IEDs in 275 locations during the conflict.[20]In June 2011, Prime Minister Jhalnath Khanal detonated the final mine, ending clearance of the areas mined by the Nepal Army during the civil war. He stated, “Today is a historical day because Nepal has been liberated from all kinds of landmines.”[21]

Nepal wrote to the Monitor in June 2010 that it is now only using antipersonnel mines for training purposes. It stated, “Landmines needed for this purpose have been retained in minimum number,” noting that this is in line with Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty.[22] The Nepal Police, Armed Police Forces, and the Nepal Army also retain stocks of IEDs.[23]

A Nepal Army spokesperson said in 2007 that the army had a stockpile of about 3,000 antipersonnel and antivehicle mines, including POMZ-2 and PMD antipersonnel mines. Nepal imported its mines from China, India, and the former Soviet Union, mostly in the 1980s.[24]

The former rebel Communist Party of Nepal/Maoist (CPN/M) became a part of the interim government in April 2007. There have been no reports of new use of antipersonnel mines, victim-activated IEDs, or booby-traps by any armed group within the country during the reporting period.


[1] Statement of Nepal, Mine Ban Treaty Tenth Meeting of States Parties, 2 December 2010.

[2] CPA between Government of Nepal and then Communist Party of Nepal/Maoists (CPN/M), 21 November 2006, points 5.1.1(i), 5.1.2, and 5.1.4. Earlier, the May 2006 bilateral cease-fire between the government of Nepal and the CPN/M, and accompanying Code of Conduct, committed both sides to discontinuing the use of mines.

[3]Ted Paterson, Prabin Chitrakar, and Abigail Hartley, “Evaluation of the UN Mine Action Programme in Nepal,” GICHD, Geneva, April 2012,

[4]Email from Purna Shova Chitrikar, Director, NCBL, 15 July 2013.

[5]Interview with Dhruba Sharma, Secretary of Peace and Reconstruction, Kathmandu, 3 September 2012,

[6]Meeting with Durga Prasad Bhattarai, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, 5 June 2013.

[7] Interview with Krishna BahadurMahara, Bureau Chief of the Unified Communist party of Nepal (Maoists), Kathmandu, 31 August 2012. 24 other Nepal political parties have previously signed this commitment to a landmine ban. See ICBLCMC, Landmine Monitor Report 2012, Nepal, Ban Policy, 11 October 2012.

[8] Letter from the MoPR to the NCBL, 23 February 2010.The committee has representation from the ministries of home affairs, foreign affairs, defence, law, and justice, and the NCBL.

[9] Email from PurnaShovaChitrikal, NCBL, 29 September 2013.

[10]Ibid., 15 July 2013.

[11]NCBL meeting with Ambassador Shankar D. Bairagi, Geneva, 15 April 2013.

[12]NCBL meeting with ModitaBajracharya, Communication Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kathmandu, 26 June 2013.

[13] An advisor to the Prime Minister later told the NCBL that the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN in New York decides how to vote. Telephone interview with RaghujiPanta, Advisor to the Prime Minister, 23 May 2010.

[14]Meeting with ModitaBajracharya, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kathmandu, 26 June 2013.

[15]Nepali Congress, CPN (UML), Madhesi Jana Adhikar Forum Nepal, Madhesi Jana Adhikar Forum (Democratic), Tarai-Madhesh Loktantrik Party, Tarai-Madhesh Loktantrik Party Nepal, CPN (ML), CPN (ML) –Samajbadi, Sadvawana Party, Rastriya Prajatantra Party, CPN (Samyukta), Rastriya Janamorchha, Rastriya Jana Shakti Party, Nepal Sadvawana Party (Anandadevi), Rastriya Jana Mukti Party, Sanghiye Loktantrik Rastriya Manch, Nepali Janata Dal, Churebhawar Rastriya Yekata Party, Samajwadi Janata Party, Dalit Janajati Party, Nepal Pariwar Dal, Nepa: Rastriya Party, Nepal Loktantrik Samajwadi Dal, and Bam Morchha Nepal. Two signatory parties later merged with other political parties, so the total is now 25 political parties.

[16] Letter No. GE/2010/576 from Hari Prasad Odari, Second Secretary, Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN in Geneva, 21 June 2010.

[17] Statement of Nepal, Mine Ban Treaty Tenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 2 December 2010.

[18]Statement by RakamChemjong, Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 4 December 2009.

[19] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 936–937. The Monitor reported indicators of mine use by government forces as early as 1999.

[20] Letter No. GE/2010/576 from Hari Prasad Odari, Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN in Geneva, 21 June 2010.

[21] “Nepal declared free of mines five years after civil war,” BBC, 14 June 2011, Nepal continues to clear IED fields laid by the security forces during the civil war.

[22] Letter No. GE/2010/576 from Hari Prasad Odari, Permanent Mission of Nepal to the UN in Geneva, 21 June 2010.

[23] Presentation by DSP Benu Prasad Pathak, Armed Police Force, NCBL Interaction Program, 10 January 2011.