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Country: Chechnya
Date Received: 19 Jun 2001


June 19, 2001

The Honourable Jody Williams
ICBL International

Ms. Mary Wareham
Landmine Monitor

Ms. Zarema Mazaeva
Coordinator of the Chechen Committee
The International Humanitarian Movement
"Refugees Against Landmines"

The Position of the Chechen Government on the Problem of Antipersonnel Mines

The position of the Chechen government has already been voiced by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1998, an announcement was made expressing support for the Ottawa process and the readiness of the Chechen Republic to sign the Ottawa Convention of 1997 on Prohibition of Use, Accumulation and Manufacture of antipersonnel Mines.

But, very regretfully, as a result of the aggression of the Russian Federation and the renewal of military actions on the territory of the Chechen Republic, now the active, wide-scale use of antipersonnel mines of various types and other explosive devices by the Russian army is again taking place. All of this is widely applied in the Chechen Republic along with other kinds of arms forbidden by the international conventions including, according to latest reports of American experts, some serious suspicions of the use of bacteriological and chemical weapons.

The indiscriminate, wide-scale ground and remote mining of the territory of the Chechen Republic by the Russian armed forces has already had catastrophic and long-term humanitarian consequences.

The Chechen Army does not have and has never had antipersonnel mines in its arsenal, although army diversionary groups and guerrilla groups carrying out the struggle against the occupying regime rather frequently use, predominantly against armour, various kinds of self-made explosive devices. However, as a way to improve the efficient use of resources with the goal of defeating the armour of the opponent, all explosive devices used by the Chechen side are radio-controlled and are therefore unable to cause damage to civilians. The Chechen Army, even if it so desired, cannot allow itself the "luxury" of unlimited expenditure of explosives. In addition, the political tasks of the Chechen armed forces include the protection of its own population against a genocide policy of the Russian army, and we simply do not have reason to use antipersonnel mines. As a counterbalance to this, last year the Russian command, several months after the beginning of war, "boasted" about its "achievements", declaring that they planted half a million mines against "the Chechen terrorists " (http: // www.chechenpress.com/news/ru/06_2001/12 _19_06.shtml). It is logical to assume that these "achievements" by the present time should have already at least tripled. According to the Joint Staff of the Chechen Army, there are already approximately 1,800,000 antipersonnel mines on the territory of our small country.

We believe that you should take an interest in the supply of explosives on the Chechen side. As mentioned above, the Russian army places mines everywhere in the Chechen territory. Overabundance of these mines and the constant danger of them has compelled the leadership of the Chechen Armed forces to generate special mine-clearing divisions and has thus collected trophies of explosives in self-made shells of the defeated opponent. Similar experience of mine clearing and the production of explosives have found wide application among the governmental and guerrilla divisions all over the Chechen Republic. It can be concluded that this technology resolves both the problem of shortages of ammunition on the Chechen side and how to effectively defeat the armour of the opponent. However, it is necessary to stipulate that this handicraft technology cannot be considered sufficient in a context of the resolution of the problem of mine clearing on the territory of the Chechen Republic because, at best, due to the absence of maps of the mine fields, it promotes the cleanup of mines of only an insignificant part of roads and footpaths.

The Chechen Republic has no factories for making mines and consequently it is impossible to call the manufacturing of radio-controlled self-made explosive devices a real industry. The Chechen armed forces and a home guard for the protection of the peaceful population of the Chechen Republic against destruction, mockery, humiliation and plunder, not having military resources equivalent to Russias, must apply self-made explosive devices which are produced directly before usage.

We are seriously concerned about the situation in the Chechen Republic regarding the danger of mines to civilians. Moreover, it is a result not only of the present war, but also of military actions in 1994-1996. The Chechen government regards the mine situation in our country as extremely dangerous and as having catastrophic humanitarian consequences.

The absence of special services in the Chechen Republic for making records of mine victims does not allow for us to have the exact information about the number of victims, as in the last war and so to the current one. As a result of application of mines in Chechen territory in war of 1994-1996 thousands of people have suffered, especially children. In addition, injured people were deprived of opportunities to receive adequate medical and psychological rehabilitation because of the most difficult economic situation in Chechnya in the post-war period. This situation is aggravated many times over with the continued use of mines in the current war. According to Ministry of Health of the Chechen Republic, 8,000 people now require prosthetics. But taking into account that in recent months the number of traumas were predominantly mine-explosive traumas, it is supposed that prosthetics are needed by 14,000-16,000 people. These people are deprived opportunities to receive basic medical aid.

We are sure that without the special attention of international governmental and non-governmental organizations there will be no exit from this catastrophic situation in the Chechen Republic. We believe that international organizations should play a major role in the resolution of this crisis.

First is it is necessary to promote an immediate suspension of the war. Only this, in our view, would stop the inhumane process of further mining in territory of the Chechen Republic.

The second step is to adopt an international program of humanitarian mine clearing on territory of the Chechen Republic.

And, the third step is to provide assistance to innocent victims of this brutal war.

The government of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is now considering the necessity of preparing a plan for a National program on humanitarian mine clearing in the territory of our country as well as for creating programs to educate children and for the rehabilitation of victims (The Center for the Rehabilitation of the Handicapped). The creation of a special agency for gathering information on victims of mines and other explosive devices is on the working plan for rehabilitation programs for victims and for humanitarian mine clearing.

However, as mentioned above, even after the termination of the war we are not capable of coping with a mine problem on our own and we require the help of international organizations in order to implement programs for the destruction of mines, humanitarian mine clearing, and the rehabilitation of victims. In addition, the absence of maps of minefields will inhibit the process of mine clearing on the territory of our country after the end of the war.

We see the implementation of such programs as being through the close cooperation of Chechen and international non-governmental organizations. These programs should be commissioned at once after the termination of war, and it is necessary to start developing them right away.

In the conclusion, allow me to express hope for the development of our cooperation in a name of building a world free from wars and mines!

My contact information: 215 Constitution Ave, NE, Suite 210, Washington, DC 20002. Tel and Fax: 202-544-2871. E-mail: Lyomaus@aol.com

Sincerely yours,

Lyoma Usmanov
The Representative of the Chechen Government to the United States

Country: Ethiopia
Date Received: 13 Jun 2001

Date: 13 JUN 2001
No. 3-2/35h/29/01

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Dear Ms. Mary Wareham,

I have the honour to refer to your letter dated 25 May 2001 requesting our comments on the forthcoming Third Annual Report of Landmine Monitor, including a confirmation or denial of use by Ethiopia of antipersonnel landmines since May 2000.

At the outset, I would like to appreciate your concern to reflect the objective reality regarding the use of antipersonnel landmines in the forthcoming Landmine Monitor Report 2001.

As you are probably aware, Ethiopia is a signatory to the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and on their Destruction (1997 Mine Ban Treaty). Ethiopia's active participation throughout the negotiation process of the convention would undoubtedly show the particular attention the Government has given to the issue. In fact, Ethiopia has gone through terrible experiences with the effects of antipersonnel landmines during the Italian colonial invasion of 1936 and the Somali invasion of 1977/78. Similarly, Mengistu's defunct regime massively used antipersonnel landmines on several frontlines in the country from 1974 to 1991.

In its unprovoked aggression of Ethiopian territory, the Eritrean invading army planted hundreds of thousands of antipersonnel landmines in an arera that covers more than ten thousand sq. kms. As a result, the ongoing repatriation and rehabilitation of displaced persons in the liberated Ethiopian areas is provoked to be extremely difficult. The planted antipersonnel landmines are causing several casualties of civilians, including children and women. It is unfortunate and regrettable that there has not been significant effort on the part of the international community to put the necessary pressure on Eritrea to restrain itself from this irresponsible conduct and adhere to the established standards set under the Convention.

Ethiopia being the victim of Eritrean aggression did not have the need to plant landmines as it was fighting mobile warfare to liberate its occupied territories. It was the Eritrean army that had to mine the fields in order to defend the areas it forcefully occupied. Hence, Ethiopia, the victim of Eritrea's aggression since 6May 1998, did not use antipersonnel landmines throughout the course of the war. In fact, on the contrary, the Ethiopian army was forced to engage in landmine clearance. While this is the fact on the ground, it would not be quite appropriate to wrongfully accuse Ethiopia as using antipersonnel landmines. This, in my opinion, would have the effect of defeating rather than serving the objectives and goals of the Mine Ban Treaty.

It has to be noted that a unilateral adherence of a state cannot ensure the proper realization of the spirit of the convention while there are certain other states in the Horn of Africa which have a very high propensity to use antipersonnel landmines as a matter of routine battle strategy instead of adhering to the international-legal norms that ban the use of antipersonnel landmines. The prevalence of this situation in our region poses a serious threat to the national security of my country as well as the stability of the whole region. I, therefore, believe that it would be wise and reasonable to adopt a regional approach whereby the international community would put the necessary pressure on those states in the Horn region to expeditiously adhere to the letter and spirit of the Convention. This is a challenge not only to my Government but to the international community at large.

Although I am very much disappointed in your anticipation that Ethiopia will be identified in the Report as a government that has used antipersonnel landmines since May 2000, I am confident that you would reconsider your anticipation in good faith in light of the objective reality of the country during this period. I am indeed pleased with your commitment to reflect our views in the report.

I would, therefore, appeal to your conscientious to reconsider your position in view of the above and to come up with a report that reflect the reality on the ground. I appreciate your proposal to engage in constructive dialogue with the Government of Ethiopia. I am confident that it would further augment your endeavor to objectively monitor the proper implementation of the Convention.

Please accept, Dear Coordinator, the assurances of my highest regards.

Seyoum Mesfin
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Country: United Kingdom
Date Received: 11 May 2001

United Kingdom
Permanent Representation
to the Conference on Disarmament

37-39 rue de Vermont
1211 Geneve 20

Tel (Direct): (00-41) 22-918-2312
Tel (Switchboard): (00-41) 22-918-2300
Fax: (00-41) 22-918-2344
E-mail: John.Wattam@fco.gov.uk

11 May 2001

Landmine Monitor Representative
Intersessional Standing Committee on
Stockpile Destruction


We wish to draw your attention to the reference made to the UK in the table on Stockpile Destruction Deadlines on page 8 of your fact sheet.

We wish to affirm that US stocks do not fall under out national jurisdiction or control and we do not therefore have any obligations under Article 4 of the Convention on Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction in respect of them. We have fully complied with our obligations in respect of stocks that were under our jurisdiction and control. Any reference to outstanding obligations is inappropriate and should be removed in an amended version of the fact sheet and any subsequent documentation that may go forward to the Landmine Monitor Report for 2001.

Representative of the UK

Letter from John S Duncan (pdf)

Country: UNDP
Date Received: 14 Nov 2000

United Nations Development Programme
Sustainable human development

14 November 2000

Mr S. Goose
Executive Director
Human Rights Watch
1630 Connecticut Ave., Suite 500
Washington, DC 20009 USA

Dear Steve,

I am writing to congratulate you, Mary Wareham and the rest of your team on another excellent effort in producing Land Mine Monitor (LMM) Report for 2000. It is a most comprehensive and reliable reference work, and it is very useful to us in our day to day work. UNDP was pleased to assist and contribute to the report, and we are grateful for the opportunity to have the section detailing UNDP's work in mine action included in the Appendixes.

I notice in the introduction of the Report that you encourage comments about the LMM, so I would like to pass on a few thoughts. The first is a simple one; I would suggest that some visible change be made to each year's addition, so that it is easier to distinguish each year's report - maybe just a sticker with the year shown clearly. Secondly, in the Executive Summary report, I was disappointed that there was very little mention of the work of the UN, and UNDP in particular, in the chapter on Humanitarian Mine Action. This information was provided in the various UN inputs to the main report. For example, on page 20 you list 19 coordination structures around the world. The UN is providing the principal support to 15 national mine action programmes (see countries receiving UNDP support in the table on page 1016 of the Report, plus Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo). However, the following two sections of the report do not mention the UN role at all.

Finally, I am concerned that the chapter on mine awareness in the Executive Summary was not up to the standard of the rest of the report. All other chapters were factual, well researched and reach impassive conclusions. The mine awareness chapter seems highly opinionated, emotive and appears to follow a personal opinion. The UNICEF guidelines on mine awareness are quite comprehensive, and were the result of a very inclusive process, yet they only receive scant attention in the second last paragraph. Why should the ICBL be challenging UNMAS to "act speedily" in one matter - the LMM does not seem the place for this type of language. Also, there are a number of factual errors in this section. For example: a) on page 29 (Country Coverage) a number of countries, including Vietnam, are identified as possibly needing their awareness education. On page 30, there is reference to the "school based focus of the programmes in Croatia, and similarly Lao and Vietnam". b) On page 31, with regard mapping and input to prioritization, MAG was conducting community mapping within several of their integrated mine action projects as far back as 1996. c) On page 31, reference is made to the use of the US Army Psychological Operations personnel involvement in training of mine awareness teams. This was one element of the training; with the mine awareness programme coordinated by UXO LAO, and with technical support/on-the-job training, also provided by UNICEF, MAG and Norwegian People's Aid. It should also be noted that while the US Army personnel did play a role in training (and as a result also provided valuable resources for the programme), the National staff recruited were non-military, and selection criteria stressed issues such as communication skills and knowledge of ethnic languages.

Once again, I would like to congratulate you on the LMM 2000 Report, and to assure you that UNDP remains ready to contribute and assist in the future.

Yours sincerely,
Ian Mansfield
Team Leader Mine Action
Emergency Response Division

Country: Syria
Date Received: 27 Sep 2000


No. 437/00

Geneva, 27th of September 2000

Dear Mrs. Jackie Hansen,

Reviewing Landmine Monitor Report 2000, and admiring the valuable information and the great humanitarian efforts of the coalition of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, I was surprised to find out that you detached the "Golan Heights" from Syria and put it under "other", taking by that, political position in full contradiction with International legality, which is harmful to the credibility of the humanitarian attitude of the non-governmental organizations parties to the Coalition.

The occupied Syrian Golan is an integral part of the national territory of the Syrian Arab Republic, it is beyond dispute, and it is always the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic. Security council resolution N.497 of 17 December 1981 decided in clear terms that Israeli's decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void. Foreign occupation contradicts all the way with the principle of inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force.

We regret the embarking of your "campaign" on grave distortion of the Syrian national identity of the Occupied Syrian Golan and we request a correction which insures that the text relating to the Golan Heights will be included in the text on Syria.

Please accept, Mrs. Jackie Hansen, our best regards.

Acting Permanent Representative

Mrs Jackie HANSEN
Programme Assistant
International Campaign to Ban Landmines
11, avenue de Joli-Mont

Country: Germany
Date Received: 21 Sep 2000

Markus Haake, Co-ordinator of the German Initiative to Ban Landmines received a letter of the German Ministry of Defense, dated 21 September 2000, with following comments referring to the LM 2000 Country Report on Germany (p.647).

"- AT 1 has for many years not been the Bundeswehr inventory,

- AT 2 does not have a magnetic detonator,

- DM-21 only has a pressure-operated detonator,

- DM-31 does not have an anti-handling-device,

- PM 60/K1: The Bundeswehr at no time took over mines of the former GDR for its own use. According tho our regulations, a statment of Functional and Operational Safety, would be necessary for this purpose; this statement was not made,

- COBRA is neither under development nor in Production,

- SMART does not have a fragmentation warhead."

Country: Sudan
Date Received: 13 Sep 2000


Sudan has earnestly and consciously signed the Convention on The Prohibition of, The Use, Stockpiling Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their destruction that signed the landmark step in the history of the disarmament and a historic victory for the weak and vulnerable of our world. Sudan is therefore committed to the letter and sprit of this important instrument and of its provisions. Since Ottawa, Sudan has keenly and effectively participated in most Regional and International Conferences in this regard with the view of advancing the cause. Sudan sponsored and voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 54/54(B) supporting the Mine Ban Treaty in December 1999. It has supported similar UN General Assembly resolutions in 1996/1997/1998. These efforts are clear testimony for the high importance that Sudan attaches to the Convention. The unfounded allegations that Sudan is producing or using mines will not detract the country from fulfilling its obligations and honouring its commitments under this instrument.

Subsequently, Sudan identified the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) as a national focal point designated with the responsibilities of supervision, coordination and fund raising needed for the activities in relations to the implementation of the Convention. To realize this HAC had immediately sensitized the national NGOs and Government institutions to actively participate in the formulation of the national policies and mine action programs. After that Sudan tabled its plans to the International community to seriously engage in the demining process. Surprisingly the UN Assessment Team recommended that "until there is a peace and stability, large-scale mine clearance should not be undertaken". This had a demoralizing effect and seriously worked against the implementation of the mine action programme. Despite this alarming fact the government mobilized locally minimal resources, required to start the Implementation.

The Government takes this opportunity to commend the effort of the international NGOs and other organizations that has continuously put resources in favor of the Convention implementation. ICRC is providing all the inputs required for production of amputated limbs of mine victims. It is planning to establish limb production factories in other parts of the Sudan to cope with the situation. OXFAM and Rada Bernen are mobilizing resources in the field of awareness.

  1. The National NGOS forum for mine action called Sudan Campaign to Ban Land Mines "SCBL" is established since three years. It had solicited the support of many international NGOs like ICBL, OXFAM, Rada Bernen and ICRC. They have doubled their efforts in the areas of awareness, victim assistance and Training of Trainers (TOT). HAC is encouraging and supporting these efforts strongly.
  2. In coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Relations, HAC is following the process of ratification at departmental consultations level, which will be followed by formulation of national laws in the Ministry of Justice.
  3. HAC is embarked on the process of national capacity building which includes data collection, training, development of policies and programmes.
  4. A Committee for formulation of national standards is underway.

  1. The armed conflict in the country is the major obstacle to the implementation of the Convention. It obstructs surveys, encourages the rebel to use, transfer and stockpile anti personnel mines and anti tank. The conflict also discouraged donors from financing Mine Action Programme. The Government had signed the Khartoum Peace Agreement with six rebel factions in 1997. It also signed similar agreements, during last year with Nuba faction. Political declaration with Umma Party was also signed in Djibouti in November 1999. These Agreements had brought calm and tranquility to several places in the country and will bear a positive impact on mine use in the Sudan.
  2. Financing mine action programme in most parts of the Southern Sudan and those states of the Northern Sudan is feasible. It will enjoy full support of the people and the Government. The remaining areas can be dealt with within the Humanitarian Corridors Agreements. The Government will push for clearing all the roads despite the fact that rebels may not easily accept the idea because they fear that the Humanitarian Clearance may endanger their defence position. The international community must do its best for engaging the armed groups in this process.

  1. We hence call for immediate and direct finance of Mine Action Programmes in the peaceful area.
  2. Peace efforts in the Sudan must be given a chance to succeed and the humanitarian cease fire must be established.
  3. Sudan also calls for taking the mine action in the broad humanitarian spectrum. In this regard, providing development assistance to reduce tensions and enforce stability in the developing countries is paramount and unavoidable.

Finally, I thank the Swiss People and Government for making this event possible.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman

Country: Romania
Date Received: 13 Sep 2000




Mr. President,
At the outset, allow me to congratulate you on your election in the important office of President of the Second Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction. I am confident that the meeting will successfully accomplish its challenging agenda under your able leadership and extensive experience. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the delegations participating to this meeting for their impressive efforts and political willingness that allowed the steady entry into force of the Convention. I commend also the huge work displayed by ICBL and other NGOs for preparing the edition of the Landmine Monitor Report 2000. In this spirit and for the sake of enhanced accuracy and up dating I will also briefly comment on some of the elements reported therein.

Mr. President,
Romania, along with other responsible members of the international community fully shares the common concerns on the humanitarian social and economic consequences caused every day by the scrourge of the APLs in several countries of the world. These are the main reasons for which Romania is committed to strongly supporting the efforts of the international community, with the goal of eradicating the plague of anti-personnel landmines and its indiscriminate effects on civilian persons, years after their use in armed hostilities. The same reasons determined Romania�s unbiased option to sign the Ottawa Convention and to extend its share of contribution to the process of full and effective implementation of this instrument.

Along with the other EU accession states, my delegation has aligned itself to the statement made on behalf of the European Union and fully shares the views and objectives expressed in the statement delivered to this meeting by the distinguished head of the delegation of France.
Nevertheless, allow me, Mr. President, to underline some elements regarding the firm and consistent Romania has been giving to the adoption of measures regarding the restriction of use, non-proliferation and finally, total elimination of APLs.

My country signed, on April 8, 1982, the "Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the use of Certain Conventional Weapons that may be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects", and ratified it on January 26, 1996. Romania also supported the amendment of Protocol II of the Convention, at the Conference of State Parties held in April 1996. Romania participated actively at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, in the debates aimed at elaborating an international agreement for banning APLs exports.

The Romanian contribution to the eradication of the APLs plague and its indiscriminate effects was also accomplished through enforcement of important internal unilateral measures. The national production of APLs ended in 1990 and on the July 1, 1995, Romania adopted a unilateral moratorium on exports of APL, extended by successive Decisions of the Government. The current moratorium is due to be in force until November 25, 2000, not September 15, 2000, as reported in Landmine Monitor Report 2000. The relevant Romanian authorities have initiated the procedures for a new Government Decision providing for a further three years extension of the moratorium.

Romania ranks also among the states that signed the Ottawa Convention on December 3, 1997, when the instrument was open for signature.

As a signatory country of the Ottawa Convention we pay a particular attention to the work and the recommendations of the Standing Committee of Experts and greatly appreciate the dedication shown in pursuing the goal of achieving , as soon as possible, concrete results in the outgoing process against APLs.

Mr. President,

With reference to the current stage of ratification of the Ottawa Convention by Romania, I have the honor to inform you and the delegations to this meeting that important steps of the internal procedure have already been accomplished. The draft of the ratification law was elaborated by the relevant Romanian institutions, adopted by the Government and has been forwarded to the Parliament for ratification.

Taken into consideration the political significance my authorities are attaching to the issue of APLs, there are good perspectives for Romania to participate as a State Party to the next Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction.

Mr. President,

Romania as like many other members of the international community was and will remain involved in the field of the demining activities and medical assistance to mine victims.

Romania deployed engineering troops for demining activities in the framework of several peacekeeping missions carried on in Albania, Angola and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Humanitarian medical assistance to mine victims was given in the Romanian field hospital units deployed with the UN mandated missions in Angola, Somalia and Kuwait.

Mr. President,

Romania has joined the new international standards concerning APLs set-up by the provisions of the Ottawa Convention being aware of the financial implications stemming from the process of national implementation, as well as of the possible effects on national security, given the fact that, for the time being, Romania is a participant only in arrangements of collective security. This is yet another proof of the genuine commitment of my country to the process of total elimination of APLs and the political willingness to enhance Romania�s contribution as a stability factor and security provider at regional and global levels.

Mr. President,

My authorities are confident that the commitment to destroy the national APLs stockpile, in compliance with the relevant provisions of Article 4 of the Convention will be met. The current holdings of APLs are reasonable and stored under strict control of legally authorized institutions. In this respect, the estimation reported in the Landmine Monitor 1999 and 2000 concerning possession of a stockpile of ��several millions of APLs�� is imprecise and does not reflect the present state of fact. Upon entry into force of the Ottawa Convention for Romania, the exact number will be reported in compliance with the relevant provision of Article 7 and will be available for public information.

Romania is not a mine-affected country and thus priority will be given to the destruction of the APLs stockpile. Deep consideration is given also to the possibility of accelerating this process and � to this end � the Romanian authorities are considering to make full use of the relevant provisions of Article 6 concerning international cooperation and assistance. Any kind of offer of this respect, including financial support, will be studied with due consideration.

Mr. President,

Before concluding I would like to warmly welcome the offer made by Nicaragua to host the Third Meeting of the States Parties and to express the support for recommendations put forward by the Standing Committees of Experts. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Swiss authorities and the authorities of the Canton and the City of Geneva for the excellent organization and conditions provided for this meeting.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Country: Zimbabwe
Date Received: 12 Sep 2000

Mr President
Mr Secretary-General
Distinguished Delegates
Ladies and Gentlemen I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Ambassador Kongstad for being elected President of this Second Meeting of State Parties. We believe that his vast experience in diplomacy will guide us to realise the noble ideals enshrined in the Ottawa Convention.

Mr President, we strongly feel that this forum is not meant for making wild and unsubstantiated allegations against states Parties to the Convention, as was the case yesterday by the ICBL Representative, Mr Stephen Goose. Such a falsehood only serves to destroy the spirit of the Convention. ICBL's failure to provide evidence or concrete facts for the past two years to show that Zimbabwe is using anti-personnel mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo does not only invalidate these accusations but also smacks of a hidden agenda against my country on its part.

Mr President, let me categorically state that Zimbabwe will never be diverted or deterred from implementing the provisions of the Ottawa Convention because we have victims of landmines and we know the dangers of using landmines. In fact, Zimbabwe has assumed a leadership role in championing the ban on the use of landmines and their ultimate destruction. We signed and ratified the Mine Ban Treaty in 1997 and 1998 respectively. And on 18 August 2000 my Government presented to Parliament the Anti-Personnel Mines (Prohibition) Bill 2000. The Bill incorporates the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and their Destruction into our domestic law.

Mr. President, Clause 5 of the Bill makes it an offence for any person to produce, acquire, use, transfer or stockpile anti-personnel mines. The penalty for contravening this provision is a fine of Z$100 000 or ten years imprisonment or both the fine and imprisonment. We are hoping that Parliament will pass the bill into law before the end of this year.

Mr President, although the enabling legislation has not yet been promulgated, my country stopped using anti-personnel mines upon ratification in 1998. We have actually complied with the various articles of the Convention.

Zimbabwe submitted its first report to the United Nations Secretary-General in January 2000 in compliance with Article 7 of the Convention. My country remains committed to the Convention and will destroy its small stock of antipersonnel mines as soon as the above-mentioned Anti-Personnel Mines Bill becomes law.

Zimbabwe is already involved in several mine action programmes. Currently 2 major demining programmes are underway along our borders with Mozambique and Zambia. The programmes are being funded by the European Union and the United States government. Mine awareness programmes to educate our people about the dangers of this deadly and cruel weapon area continuous process and have been part of our life since our independence 20 years ago, in 1980.

Zimbabwe has a total of 6 minefields stretching for over 700 km. These area legacy of our war of independence. We continue to appeal to the international community to assist us in funding various mine action programmes including the removal of these minefields, victims assistance and their rehabilitation, mine awareness and training for the various projects.

My country would like to acknowledge and appreciate the assistance it received over the years from the governments of the United Kingdom USA, Germany and the EU and hope other countries and organisations will join them in assisting us to deal once and for all with this problem in Zimbabwe.

Mr President, my government hopes that the clarification on the alleged use of anti-personnel mines by the Zimbabwean army in the DRC should put to rest this issue.

Mr President, it is my firm belief that this Second meeting of State Parties to the Ottawa Convention will chart and adopt practical and concrete measures that will alleviate the suffering of millions of people in affected areas. Let me conclude by reminding this august assembly that it is now time to act, for every minute counts.

I thank you!

Country: Brazil
Date Received: 12 Sep 2000

With regard to the information contained in the 2000 Landmine Monitor Report, the Brazilian government draws the attention of the ICBl to our national report submitted last week to the UN secretariat. That report contains information, inter alia, on the exact number of anti-personnel mines stockpiled by Brazil and our plans to destroy such stockpiles, in accordance with the provisions of the mine-ban Convention. The Brazilian government also clarifies that the Convention was signed by Brazil on 3 December 1997, approved by the Brazilian National Congress on 29 April 1999, and promulgated by the President on 5 August 1999. (Decree 3128).