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Country Reports
HUNGARY, Landmine Monitor Report 1999


Mine Ban Policy

Hungary signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 6 April 1998, the eighth country to do so. Hungary has been an active participant in the Ottawa Process. It attended all the treaty preparatory meetings, endorsed the pro-treaty Brussels Declaration in June 1997, and was a full participant in the Oslo negotiations. Hungary also voted in favor of United Nations General Assembly resolutions supporting a ban on antipersonnel landmines in 1996, 1997, and 1998.

Hungary is also a state party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and ratified the amended Protocol II on mines on 30 January 1998. Hungary is a member of the Conference on Disarmament and supports using it as a forum for negotiating a ban on mine transfers.[1] In February 1999, Hungary was one of 22 countries that endorsed a statement advocating the negotiation of a transfer ban through the CD.[2]

The government and national assembly of Hungary hosted and co-sponsored the Budapest Regional Conference on Anti-personnel Landmines in March 1998. The conference, which was also sponsored by the city of Budapest, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, was attended by government representatives and non-governmental organizations from 19 Central and Eastern European states.[3]

Addressing the conference, Hungary’s Foreign Affairs Minister Laszlo Kovacs stated, “We consider the drive to achieve the earliest entry into force of Amended Protocol II of the CCW and the campaign to achieve a more universal adherence to the Ottawa Convention as high priorities.”[4] Kovacs also discussed Hungary’s “Agenda ‘98" for mine-related activities: (1) hosting the regional conference; (2) eliminating the country’s landmine stockpile by the end of 1998--a date since pushed back June 1999; (3) supporting the amended Protocol II of the CCW as an effective complement to the Mine Ban Treaty; (4) supporting Hungarian academic research on victim rehabilitation and sharing methods and technologies with other countries; (5) dedicating resources to the development of alternative technologies for troop protection; and (6) supporting, along with the German government, a demining initiative in the Eastern-Slavonia region of Croatia.[5]

Production, Transfer, and Stockpiling

Hungary, a significant producer and exporter of antipersonnel mines in the past, has ceased all production and transfer of landmines and has stated its intention to eliminate its landmine stockpile by June 1999.[6]

Hungary informed the United Nations in 1995 that it no longer produces or exports antipersonnel mines.[7]

Hungarian state factories produced six types of landmines: the GYATA-64 blast mine (similar to Soviet PMN) , the M62 and M49 blast mines (similar to Soviet PMD-6), the RAMP blast mine (WWII-era), the No. 1131 bounding mine, and the Model 36 fragmentation mine.[8] Hungary’s mines have been used in Cambodia, Angola, South Africa, and elsewhere.[9]

Humanitarian Mine Action

Hungary is not mine affected.[10] In addition to the above-noted initiative in Croatia, Hungary has pledged to support confidence building measures, training, and other cooperative efforts related to landmines with the armed forces of other countries. Hungary has also offered technical and training assistance to international organizations involved in demining.[11]


[1]Statement by H.E. Mr. Laszlo Kovacs, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Hungary, Report: Regional Conference on Landmines, Budapest, Hungary, 26-28 March, p. 7.

[2]Statement by Ambassador Petko Draganov, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Bulgaria to the United Nations Office and the other International Organisations in Geneva, (undated) February 1999.

[3]International Campaign to Ban Landmines, “Report: Regional Conference on Landmines, Budapest, Hungary, 26-28 March 1998."

[4]Speaking at Budapest Regional Conference, 26 March 1998, in ICBL Conference report.

[5] ICBL report, Regional Conference, 26-28 March 1998, pp. 6-8.

[6]Telephone interview with Dezso Horvath, Deputy Permanent Representative, Hungarian Mission to the United Nations, 25 February 1999.

[7] United Nations General Assembly, “Report of the Secretary-General: Moratorium on the export of antipersonnel landmines,” A/50/701, 3 November 1995, p. 6.

[8]U.S. Department of Defense, “Mine Facts” CD ROM; Eddie Banks, Antipersonnel Landmines: Recognizing and Disarming (London: Brassey’s, 1997), pp. 128-132.

[9]Ibid. Also see, Human Rights Watch Arms Project and Physicians for Human Rights, Landmines: A Deadly Legacy (New York: Human Rights Watch, October 1993), p. 104.

[10]United States Department of State, Hidden Killers, July 1993, p. 100.

[11]United States Department of State, Hidden Killers, September 1998, p. C3.