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Country Reports
LUXEMBOURG , Landmine Monitor Report 1999


Mine Ban Policy

Luxembourg signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997, but it has not yet ratified. Luxembourg participated fully in the Ottawa Process diplomatic meetings to develop the treaty, as well as the Oslo negotiations. Luxembourg also voted for the key 1996, 1997 and 1998 UN General Assembly resolutions in support of a ban on antipersonnel landmines.

Luxembourg first stated its support for a ban in April 1996, during the review conference of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW). On 25 April 1996, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Poos, and the Minister of the Public Forces, Mr. Bodry, received a delegation of Luxembourg non-governmental organizations which had collected signatures on a petition calling for a total ban on landmines. The two ministers used this occasion to announce their support for an immediate ban on the production, stockpiling, export and use of an antipersonnel landmines.[1]

During its tenure as President of the European Union in the second half of 1997, Luxembourg focused on European policy on AP mines and on 28 November 1997, those efforts resulted in the adoption of a Joint Action on antipersonnel mines.[2]

On 22 September 1998, a Member of Parliament put a question to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, asking why the ratification has not been introduced yet.[3] In his answer to the question, on 9 November 1998, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stated, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had decided to seize the opportunity of the ratification of the Ottawa Convention to ratify also two other protocols related to disarmament, particularly the protocol II [of the CCW]?. Therefore the Ministry has decided to submit them to a ‘bloc’ ratification?.The Government Council of 9 October 1998 has approved the bill for the three ratifications. The bill was tabled to the Council of State on 22 October 1998.”[4] Subsequently, the bill was tabled at the Chamber of Representatives on 22 November 1998.[5] As of 20 March 1999, ratification had not yet been voted on by the Parliament because comments from the Council of State had not yet been forthcoming.[6]

The commentary on the legislation notes, “Some of the restrictions included in the Mine treaty are already established in the national legislation. The law of 15 March 1983 on arms and ammunition forbids in its first category (prohibited arms) among others, the arms and other devices destined to strike a blow at persons or goods by fire or explosion.” There is also the Grand Ducal regulations of 31 October 1995 related to the import, export, and transit of arms, ammunition and material that serves especially for military use , and related technology. In that regulation, there is a list of the products for which the import, export and transfer are forbidden. On 7 April 1997, a ministerial regulation included antipersonnel landmines in that list.”[7]

Another law is needed, however, as the existing legislation does not cover the States and the activities of the Public Forces. The Bill is composed of three articles : the first one is the endorsement of the ban mine convention, the second specifies the prohibited acts and the third states the sanctions in case of non-compliance of the law.[8]

Luxembourg is a party to the CCW and its original Protocol II on landmines. As described above, ratification of amended Protocol II and the additional Protocol to the CCW is linked to ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty.

Production, Transfer and Stockpiling

Luxembourg has never produced or exported antipersonnel landmines. Luxembourg has imported some mines in the past for the armed forces, of American and Belgian origin.[9] No additional information could be found on this matter.

On 25 April 1996, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Public Forces announced the beginning of the destruction of stockpiles, with the exception of a small number for mine clearance training.[10] That destruction was completed in August 1997.[11] There was no additional costs for the destruction of the stocks, as army technicians destroyed the mines.[12]

The number of mines destroyed was 9,600, which has been confirmed by the Deputy Chief of Staff.[13] The Army has kept 500 mines of each type in stock for training purposes; these include: Belgian M35bg and U.S. M2A1 and M16 bounding antipersonnel mines. These mines are going to be used for training of deminers. The training requires 2-4 mines every 4 months to train contingents going on UN missions.[14]

Mine Action

Luxembourg is not currently affected by mines, but unexploded ordnance from World War One and World War Two are still a problem, requiring intervention by EOD specialists in 1999. In Luxembourg, UXO clearance is the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Forces. Clearance is carried out by the Demining Service, which responds to about 200 requests every year.[15]

In 1998, the Luxembourg government gave approximately U.S. $600,000 to the UXO Lao Trust Fund. The majority of that grant is earmarked for the salaries of the Lao deminers in Savannaketh province.[16] Luxembourg has contributed a total of $226,567 to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Clearance.[17] In 1997, Luxembourg contributed to victim assistance projects through a grant of 4,187,970 F.lux (U.S. $114,742) given to the ICRC.[18]


[1]Minster of Foreign Affairs, Press Release, 25 April 1996.

[2]Minister of Foreign Affairs, answer to parliamentary question, No. 504, 3 November 1998.

[3]Parliamentarian question No. 504 from Mr. Emile Calmes, Member of the Chamber of Representatives, 22 September 1998

[4]Minister of Foreign Affairs, answer to parliamentary question, No. 504, 3 November 1998.

[5]Chamber of Representatives, Bill 4493, 22 November 1998.

[6]Phone interview with an official from the Treaties Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 25 February 1999.

[7]Motive statement of Bill No. 4493.

[8]Bill No. 4493.

[9]LM Researcher telephone interview with Lieutenant-Colonel Ries,, Deputy Chief of Staff, 22 March 1999.

[10]Minister of Foreign Affairs, Press Release, 25 April 1996.

[11]Answer to the Parliamentary Question N°504, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs., 9 November 1998.

[12]Lieutenant-Colonel Ries,, 22 March 1999.


[14]LM Researcher conversation with Claude Peffer, deminer, during the opening of an exhibition on “Children in Cambodia,” 25 September 1997. This was confirmed by the Lieutenant-Colonel Ries, 22 March 1999.

[15]Claude Peffer, Demining Service of the Luxembourg Army, “Antipersonnel landmines, a global flea,” Presentation on the occasion of the opening of “Children in Cambodia,” 25 September 1997.

[16]Handicap International, management file for Laos.

[17] UN General Assembly, “Report of the Secretary-General: Assistance in Mine Clearance,” A/53/496, 14 October 1998, p. 29.

[18]Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Development Cooperation Activity Report, 1997.