+   *    +     +     
About Us 
The Issues 
Our Research Products 
Order Publications 
Press Room 
Resources for Monitor Researchers 
Table of Contents
Country Reports
TURKMENISTAN, Landmine Monitor Report 1999


Turkmenistan is the only country in Central Asia that has signed and ratified the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. It signed on 3 December 1997 and was the fourth country to ratify on 19 January 1998. However, it has not yet passed national legislation implementing the treaty. At the treaty signing conference, Her Excellency Mrs. Aksoltan Ataeva noted, “Turkmenistan from the very beginning actively supported the idea of comprehensive elimination of antipersonnel miens.”[1] Turkmenistan attended the early treaty preparatory meetings, endorsed the pro-treaty Brussels Declaration, and participated in the Oslo negotiations. It was absent from the pro-ban 1996 UNGA resolution vote, but voted in favor of the pro-treaty 1997 and 1998 UNGA resolutions.

The Turkmenistan government hosted the first regional conference on landmines in Central Asia in Ashgabat in June 1997. Forty participants attended, representing governments and nongovernmental organizations. The conference addressed the importance of expanding mine clearance efforts and assistance for victims. As the first forum for discussion of landmines in Central Asia, the conference raised the profile of the landmine issue, possibly opening the door to further action.[2] Ambassador Ataeva said, “The Ashgabat Joint Communique has become an important document which marked the beginning of active involvement of Central Asian states in the large scale political campaign.... The Conference has been a step forward toward creating conditions for signing the International Convention by a greater number of states.”[3]

Turkmenistan is not a party to the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), although at an International Committee of the Red Cross-sponsored conference on international humanitarian law in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in 1997, Turkmenistan declared its intention to ratify the CCW and its Protocols.[4]

The government declares, “There are no uncleared landmines” in Turkmenistan.[5] There are no reports of landmine casualties. Turkmenistan is not believed to have ever produced or exported landmines. Turkmenistan acknowledges that it “has a small stockpile of landmines,”[6] likely inherited from the USSR. Turkmenistan is not known to have contributed to any international mine action programs.


[1] Statement of H.E. Mrs. Aksoltan Ataeva, Head of Delegation of Turkmenistan, to Ottawa Treaty signing conference, 3-4 December 1997.

[2] Communication from ICBL conference representative.

[3] Statement by Amb. Ataeva, Ottawa, 3-4 December 1997.

[4] International Committee of the Red Cross, Annual Report 1997.

[5] Essen Aidogdyev, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Turkmenistan to the United Nations, New York, letter to Human Rights Watch, N051/’99, 18 March 1999.

[6] Ibid.