+   *    +     +     
About Us 
The Issues 
Our Research Products 
Order Publications 
Press Room 
Resources for Monitor Researchers 
Table of Contents
Country Reports
Denmark, Landmine Monitor Report 2003


Key developments since May 2002: Mine action funding in 2002 totaled DKK 83.5 million (US$10.6 million), which is a significant decrease from DKK 119.5 million in 2001.

Mine Ban Policy

Denmark signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified it on 8 June 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 March 1999. No additional legal or administrative measures were deemed necessary for national implementation. Denmark has not produced antipersonnel mines since the 1950s and has never exported antipersonnel mines. Destruction of the stockpile of 266,517 antipersonnel mines was completed in December 1999.

Denmark participated in the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in September 2002. As Denmark held the presidency of the European Union (EU) for the second half of 2002, Ambassador Henrik Ree Iversen delivered a statement on behalf of the EU and associated states. Also in September 2002, Denmark delivered a statement to the General Assembly on behalf of the EU, remarking that the large number of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty leaves “no doubt that an international norm has been established that can no longer be ignored.”[1]

In November 2002, Denmark voted for UN General Assembly Resolution 57/74, which calls for universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. Denmark attended the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in February and May 2003.

Denmark’s annual Article 7 report for calendar year 2002 was submitted on 30 April 2003. It included voluntary Form J, reporting for the first time on the purposes for which mines were being retained under Article 3 of the treaty. Four previous Article 7 reports have been submitted.[2]

Regarding the issue of joint military operations with non-States Parties, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed its commitment that Denmark would not involve itself in the planning or implementation of activities related to the laying of antipersonnel mines.[3]

In April 2003, Denmark confirmed its view, first expressed at the Standing Committee meetings in May 2002, that the Mine Ban Treaty does not cover antivehicle mines that may function as antipersonnel mines. Denmark is concerned that other interpretations will inhibit universalization of the treaty, and considers the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) to be the proper forum for discussion of antivehicle mines.[4]

Denmark is a State Party to the CCW and its Amended Protocol II, and submitted an annual report as required by Article 13 of the Protocol on 14 October 2002. This notes new forms of international assistance and mine action funding in 2002.

Denmark attended the Fourth Annual Conference of States Parties to the Protocol in December 2002. On behalf of the EU, Denmark described the Mine Ban Treaty and Amended Protocol II as complementary, and reminded the conference of EU proposals to improve compliance mechanisms in the CCW and its protocols.[5]

Mines Retained Under Article 3

Denmark initially retained 4,991 antipersonnel mines as permitted under Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty. A decision was made in August 2000 to reduce this number, and in April 2002, Denmark reported that 2,091 mines were being retained.[6]

More recently, Denmark has reported that at the end of 2002, it retained 2,058 mines (60 M56 and 1,998 M58). Denmark indicated that 33 M58 mines had been consumed for “demonstration and training purposes.” Denmark further explained that its retained mine stock is used in these ways: a demonstration is given to all conscripts during training; mine awareness instructors are trained in handling mines before international missions; and the mines are used for training Ammunition Clearing Units in dismantling mines. None of the M56 mines, which are kept for trials by the Danish Defense Research Establishment, have been consumed since 1999.[7]

Landmine Problem

The Skallingen peninsula in Denmark was heavily mine-contaminated in World War II. It is now a protected natural reserve, largely owned by the government. Mined areas are marked and there are no reports of mine incidents in the area.[8] Denmark states in its Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report and its Article 7 Report that there are no mine clearance programs at present. The deadline set by Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 for Denmark to clear all mined areas is 1 March 2009.

Mine Action Funding

Danish policy for assistance in humanitarian mine action was described in the Landmine Monitor Report 2002. Mine action funding in 2002 totaled DKK83,512,807 (US$10.6 million).[9] This represents a decrease of more than 30 percent from DKK119,354,000 in 2001. The countries and organizations receiving Danish funding in 2002 were:


  • Afghanistan – DKK20 million ($2.53 million) comprising DKK15 million to the Danish Demining Group (DDG) and DKK5 million to the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS)
  • Caucasus – DKK792,807 ($100,483) to DanChurchAid (DCA) and DDG for mine risk education
  • Eritrea – DKK9 million ($1.14 million) to DCA (final installment of DKK20 million grant)
  • Laos – DKK8.3 million ($1.05 million) to UNSO and the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) (second installment) for mine action, including rehabilitation of mine survivors
  • Mozambique – DKK15 million ($1.9 million) to the UN Development Program (UNDP), Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), Accelerated Demining Program, and National Demining Institute (third installment of DKK72 million)
  • Nicaragua – DKK14 million ($1.77 million) to the Nicaraguan government (second installment of DKK53.3 million)
  • Somalia – DKK5.8 million ($735,000) to DDG (final grant)
  • Sri Lanka – DKK3 million ($380,000) to DDG
  • Sudan – DKK4 million ($507,000) to DCA


  • Mine Ban Treaty Sponsorship Program – DKK200,000 ($25,350) to support participation of developing countries
  • UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action – DKK3 million ($380,000) for mine action coordination
  • International Campaign to Ban Landmines – DKK400,000 ($51,000) for advocacy and the Landmine Monitor
  • Danmark Mod Landminer (Denmark Against Landmines) – DKK20,000 ($2,500) for advocacy.[10]

Funding in 2003 is expected to be at about the same level as in 2002. A comprehensive evaluation of all Danish assistance in humanitarian mine action was carried out by an independent consultant, with the results to be presented in 2003.[11]

In 2002, Danish Defense was involved in mine clearance in Afghanistan, with two Hydrema machines and 45 personnel (including 17 support personnel); this involvement did not continue in 2003.[12]

Denmark chairs the Inter-Nordic Working Group for Mine Clearance Equipment, and participates in the NATO Engineer Working Party.[13]

NGO mine action and funding

The NGOs DanChurchAid (DCA) and the Danish Demining Group (DDG) are involved in mine clearance, survey, and mine risk education.

DCA worked in six countries in 2002 and early 2003, including Albania (survey and clearance), Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (needs assessment), Eritrea (assistance to Eritrean Demining Agency), Iraq (emergency clearance), and Sudan (training and mine risk education).[14] The DDG was active in Afghanistan (mine risk education and mine clearance), Eritrea (mine clearance), Ingushetia/Chechnya (mine risk education), Somaliland (survey and clearance), and Sri Lanka (surveys and needs assessment)[15] For more information on these activities, see the country reports in this edition of Landmine Monitor Report.

Danmark Mod Landminer participated in the Roskilde music festival in June 2002, raising DKK100,000 ($12,675) for DCA’s mine clearance activities in Lebanon, and DKK40,000 ($5,070) for the DDG. Danmark Mod Landminer’s landmine education campaign at the music festival reached an estimated 70,000 people and resulted in 200 new members.[16]

The Danish Red Cross in 2002 raised DKK400,000 ($50,700) for the rehabilitation of mine survivors in Cambodia.[17]

Landmine/UXO Casualties

On 19 November 2002, the Danish Defense Command made public the results of their investigation into the incident that killed three Danish soldiers and three others in Afghanistan on 6 March 2002. The report concluded that the “accident was caused by an unauthorized FFE (Free From Explosives) in combination with improper handling of the warhead and use of inappropriate tools. The factor most likely to have initiated the ignition was the fact that the work was being carried out directly on the explosive material in the warhead.”[18]

[1] Statement by Ambassador Erling Harild Nielsen on behalf of the European Union, UN General Assembly, New York, 30 September 2002.
[2] Article 7 Report, 29 April 2003 (for calendar year 2002); Article 7 Report, 29 April 2002 (for the period 1 May 2001–30 April 2002); Article 7 Report, 30 April 2001 (for calendar year 2000); Article 7 Report, 7 August 2000 (for the period 27 August 1999–7 August 2000); Article 7 Report, 27 August 1999 (for the period to 27 August 1999).
[3] Email from Ulrik Enemark Petersen, Head of Section, Foreign and Security Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 28 March 2003.
[4] Telephone interview with Major Jørn Rasmussen, Section for Weapon Control, Danish Defense Command, 29 April 2003; see also, Landmine Monitor Report 2002, pp. 226-227. Denmark did not speak on this issue in the February and May 2003 Standing Committee discussions. It did, however, repeat this position in a side meeting organized by the ICRC on 15 May 2003, when Denmark opposed the ICRC proposal to do expert work on antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes within the Mine Ban Treaty context.
[5] Statement by Ambassador Henrik Ree Iversen on behalf of the European Union, Fourth Annual Conference of States Parties to CCW Amended Protocol II, Geneva, 11 December 2002.
[6] Article 7 Report, Form D, 29 April 2002.
[7] Article 7 Report, Forms D and J, 29 April 2003.
[8] Email from Ulrik Enemark Petersen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 28 March 2003.
[9] Ibid. Exchange rate: US$1 = DKK 7.89, used throughout. Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 6 January 2003.
[10] Email from Ulrik Enemark Petersen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 28 March 2003.
[11] Email from Ulrik Enemark Petersen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 30 April 2003.
[12] Email from Major Jørn E. Rasmussen, Section for Weapon Control, Danish Defense Command, 26 May 2002; telephone interview with Major Jørn E. Rasmussen, 29 April 2003.
[13] Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, Form E, 14 October 2002.
[14] Email from Lennart Skov-Hansen, Relief Coordinator/DCA Operative Unit, DanChurchAid, Copenhagen, 21 May 2003.
[15] Email from Michaela Brock Pedersen, Danish Demining Group, 23 April 2003.
[16] Email from Thomas Emil Jensen, Danmark Mod Landminer, 18 March 2003.
[17] Email from Flemming S. Nielsen, Head of Disaster Management Unit, Danish Red Cross, 26 March 2003.
[18] Danish Defense Command Report, released 19 November 2002, available at www.fko.dk/tema_kabul-rapporten.htm.