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Country Reports
Ireland , Landmine Monitor Report 2003


Mine Ban Policy

The Republic of Ireland signed and ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997, becoming a State Party on 1 March 1999. Implementation was achieved by the Explosives (Landmine) Order of 12 June 1996 and a 1996 amendment to the Defense Force Tactical Doctrine. However, there are no legally based punitive measures if a violation of the treaty occurs in military operations. On 5 March 2003, the Minister for Foreign Affairs stated that legislation was under review.[1]

Ireland attended the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in September 2002, and participated in the February and May 2003 meetings of the intersessional Standing Committees. On 25 June 2003, Ireland submitted its annual Article 7 Report.[2] This is the country’s fifth Article 7 report.[3] Ireland voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 57/74 on 22 November 2002, which calls for universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty.

Ireland has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines, and is not mine-affected.[4] Ireland reported that at the end of 2002, it had 116 antipersonnel mines retained for permitted training and development purposes, and it had consumed nine mines during 2002.[5]

The government has not stated its position regarding the participation of Irish Defense Forces in joint operations in which a non-States Party might use antipersonnel mines.

Ireland is a State Party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II, and submitted its annual Article 13 report under the Protocol on 29 November 2002. It attended the Fourth Annual Conference of States Parties to the Protocol in December 2002. From 23-25 April 2003, the Department for Foreign Affairs hosted an international conference on explosive remnants of war, in Dublin, organized by Pax Christi Ireland.

Mine Action Assistance

In 2002, Ireland provided €1,666,500 (US$1.6 million)[6] to mine action programs, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.[7] This would represent a reduction in mine action spending from €2,243,204 in 2001.

Since 2000, Ireland reports that it has spent almost €6 million on mine action programs.[8]

The 2002 funds were disbursed as follows:[9]

  • Afghanistan: €410,000 ($389,500) to the HALO Trust for mine clearance.
  • Angola: €637,000 ($605,150), including €384,000 to HALO for mine clearance and €253,000 to Handicap International for victim assistance.
  • Eritrea: €369,500 ($351,025) to HALO for mine clearance.
  • UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action: €200,000 ($190,000).
  • Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining: €50,000 ($47,500) for the Implementation Support Unit.

Though not reported elsewhere, Ireland stated in its Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report that the development cooperation division of the Department for Foreign Affairs, Ireland Aid, spent 1,450,000 (currency not stated) for demining in Mozambique by HALO and UNDP.[10]

In April 2003, the Minister for Overseas Development and Human Rights announced that, “block grant funding will be provided” for mine and UXO clearance in Afghanistan, Angola, Eritrea, and Somalia.[11]

[1] Interview with Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Section, Department for Foreign Affairs, 1 May 2002; Oral Answer by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Question No. 174, Dail Debates, 5 March 2003, col. 1336-1337.
[2] Article 7 Report, 25 June 2003 (for calendar year 2002). The report was due 30 April 2003.
[3] See Article 7 reports submitted on 2 May 2002 (for calendar year 2001), 18 June 2001 (for the period 14 April 2000–27 April 2001), 14 April 2000 (for the period 16 August 1999–14 April 2000), and 16 August 1999 (for the period 3 December 1997–16 August 1999).
[4] Article 7 Report, 16 August 1999; Article 7 Report, 14 April 2000.
[5] Article 7 Report, Forms D and G, 25 June 2003.
[6] Exchange rate €1=US$0.95, used throughout this report. Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 6 January 2003.
[7] Interview with Department of Foreign Affairs, 13 June 2003.
[8] Article 7 Report, Form J, 25 June 2003.
[9] Interview with Department of Foreign Affairs, 13 June 2003. The same numbers are reported in Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, Annex I, October 2002, but the currency is listed as Irish pounds, not Euros.
[10] Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, Annex I, October 2002.
[11] Statement by Hon. Tom Kitt, Minister of State for Overseas Development and Human Rights, to Conference on Explosive Remnants of War and Development, Dublin, 25 April 2003.