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SOLOMON ISLANDS, Landmine Monitor Report 1999


Minister of Foreign Affairs of Solomon Islands, the Honorable Patterson Oti, signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997. In a statement to the signing ceremony, Oti said: “Some may wonder why Solomon Islands, with a population of less that four hundred thousand people living on hundreds of islands arrayed over 1,600 kilometers of ocean, has a particular interest in an enforceable ban on landmines. In 1942 and much of 1943, the Solomon Islands was the site of brutal land and sea warfare. Thousands of combatants and civilians were killed and the delicate forest and marine environments severely damaged. Left behind on land and the seabed, fifty-five years later, are unexploded ordnance including artillery shells, bombs and other dangerous devices.”[1]

Oti said that Solomon Islands “followed with interest the extraordinary international effort that ... brought us to this treaty ceremony. If our resources had permitted, our representatives would have participated in the conferences that were so important as part of the Ottawa process.”[2] While the Solomon Islands did not actively participate in meetings of the Ottawa Process or endorse the pro-treaty Brussels Declaration, it supported the key pro-ban 1996, 1997 and 1998 UN General Assembly resolutions on landmines.

On 26 January 1999, the Solomon Islands deposited its instrument of ratification at the United Nations in New York

Solomon Islands has no defense force and is not believed to have ever produced, transferred, stockpiled or used antipersonnel landmines. With the assistance of the United Nations Development Program, a feasibility study to determine the size of the UXO problem and the cost of dealing with it will begin soon.[3]


[1]Statement by Hon. Patterson Oti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Solomon Islands, at the Signing Ceremony, Ottawa, Canada, 3-4 December 1997.