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Country Reports
Italy, Landmine Monitor Report 2003


Key developments since May 2002: Italy completed the destruction of its stockpile of more than 7.1 million antipersonnel mines in November 2002. Italy provided a total of €9.91 million (US$8.65 million) in mine action funding in 2002, a very significant increase from 2001. In 2002, Italian armed forces carried out demining in Afghanistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and mine risk education in Kosovo. Italy has served as co-rapporteur of the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction since September 2002. In April 2003, the Italian Campaign to Ban Landmines hosted the annual Global Landmine Monitor Researchers Meeting in Rome.

Mine Ban Policy

Italy signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 23 April 1999, becoming a State Party on 1 October 1999. The ratification law (Law 106/99) approved on 26 March 1999 included amendments to the existing national mine ban legislation (Law 374/97, approved on 29 October 1997).

Italy participated in the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in September 2002, where its delegation described the Mine Ban Treaty as a milestone in the development of international humanitarian law, showing the effectiveness of public opinion and moral values. Italy also announced that it had encouraged countries in the Horn of Africa to join the treaty. It gave an update on the stockpile destruction program, and invited non-party States to make a symbolic reduction (of about 10 percent) in their antipersonnel mine stockpiles, as a sign of goodwill.[1]

At the Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Italy became co-rapporteur of the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, and will become co-chair of the committee in September 2003. Italy actively participated in the various Standing Committee meetings in February and May 2003. In February, Italy’s delegation announced the completion of stockpile destruction, gave presentations on the destruction program, and detailed its €9.91 million allocation to mine action in 2002. It confirmed that national legislation permits joint military activities with non-States Parties only if the activities are compatible with Article 1 of the Mine Ban Treaty.[2] It also reiterated that its legislation prohibits mines with antihandling devices, and encouraged other States Parties to explore all possibilities, via a best practices approach, for moving forward on this issue.[3] At the meetings in May, Italy renewed its offer of assistance to other countries destroying stockpiles of antipersonnel mines.[4] Italy also participated in the Universalization Contact Group meetings and in the President’s consultations on preparations for the 2004 Review Conference.

Italy submitted its annual Article 7 transparency report on 16 April 2003 for the period 17 October 1998–31 December 2002. The report confirms completion of stockpile destruction, and summarizes funding of mine action in 2002 on the voluntary Form J.[5] In November 2002, Italy voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 57/74, which calls for universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty.

Italy is a State Party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II, and submitted its annual report required by Article 13 on 29 November 2002. Italy attended the Fourth Conference of States Parties to Amended Protocol II on 11 December 2002.

On 15 October 2002, the Senate approved a motion, agreed by all political parties, which invited the government to urge non-state actors to help universalize the Mine Ban Treaty by promoting its principles and objectives. It also invited all States Parties to assist NGOs and others in involving non-state actors in the process of banning antipersonnel landmines, and called for increased funding of mine action.[6]

Also in October 2002, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs informed the National Committee for Humanitarian Mine Action (Comitato Nazionale per l’Azione Umanitaria Contro le Mine, CNAUMA) about diplomatic initiatives to bring the Mine Ban Treaty to the attention of states, including Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, and the US.[7]

From 7-9 April 2003, the Italian Campaign to Ban Landmines (Campagna Italiana Contro le Mine, ItCBL) hosted the annual Global Landmine Monitor Researchers Meeting in Rome, with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. More than 70 researchers and 45 campaigners from 65 countries attended this meeting, which consisted of ICBL workshops and Landmine Monitor sessions with research coordinators. Activities surrounding the conference included a “Youth Against War” event outside Saint Peter’s square at the Vatican on 6 April 2003, a press conference, and an address to the closing plenary of the conference by Italy's Under-Secretary of State for Disarmament, Hon. Mr. Alfredo Luigi Mantica.

The ItCBL prepared detailed recommendations for the Italian government during its presidency of the European Union (EU) in the second half of 2003. The Campaign welcomed Italy’s previous positive contributions and identified as current priorities universalization (especially targeting accession by Estonia, Finland, and Latvia and ratification by Poland), implementation of treaty commitments, and increased mine action funding.[8]

Production and Transfer

Italy was formerly a major producer and exporter of antipersonnel mines.[9] The conversion or decommissioning of two production facilities (Tecnovar and Valsella) has been reported in previous Article 7 reports, but information on a third former producer (Misar/SEI) has not been included in any of Italy’s Article 7 reports, nor in any edition of the Register of Mines.[10] The Ministry of Defense states that Misar/SEI has replied to the Ministry’s inquiry, and that the company has satisfied the legal requirements.[11]

Transit of antipersonnel mines

Italy has taken the position that transit of antipersonnel mines is allowed only for the purpose of destruction of mines.[12] In March 2003, the ItCBL sought assurances from the Ministry of Defense that no US antipersonnel mines were being transported via the Italian rail network in the build up to the war in Iraq, and asked what assurances the government had requested from the US that any logistical support would be compatible with Italy’s obligations under the Mine Ban Treaty. On 13 May the Ministry replied that, although not a State Party, the US was fully aware of States Parties’ treaty obligations, and the “issue had been commented upon in the context of the work of the CCW Conference held in Geneva from 10 to 14 March, to which the US is a State Party.” The Ministry stated that border checks on convoys in transit and guarantees from other States were the responsibility of other ministries.[13]

Stockpile Destruction

Destruction of the Italian stockpile began in February 1999 and was completed on 20 November 2002, well in advance of the deadline (1 October 2003) set by the Mine Ban Treaty. The deadline in national legislation was 29 October 2002. The original stockpile of 7,122,811 antipersonnel mines was composed of 6,529,811 warfare mines and 593,000 practice mines.[14] The destruction was carried out at the Baiano di Spoleto (all types) and Noceto di Parma (Valmara 69) military plants. The German company RTG-E/Diehl, operating at Noceto di Parma, was responsible for destruction of some types (MUSPA, MIFF and MW1 dispenser systems).

The final part of the stockpile (410,027 Valmara 69 mines) was destroyed from January to 20 November 2002, with disassembly of 2,000 units per day.[15]

Italian military plants demonstrated the capability to destroy the following quantities: Valmara 69 - 2,000 units per day; AUPS - 12,000; PMC - 11,200; MAUS 1 - 5,400; VAR 40 - 12,000; and MK2 - 2,500. The Ministry of Defense said the program allowed Italy to gain expertise, train personnel to high levels of competence, and obtain equipment complying with all regulations on safety, security and environmental pollution.[16]

Mines Retained Under Article 3

Italian law permits the retention of up to 8,000 antipersonnel mines, for training and development purposes. The April 2003 Article 7 report notes retention of 811 warfare mines, the same number as in the previous report, indicating no consumption of these mines in 2002. Italy has apparently decided to no longer report on the number of “practice” mines retained, which were recorded in the previous Article 7 report as totaling 7,181.[17] Italy stated in the May 2002 intersessional meeting that some of its retained mines were in fact only “parts” of mines, not functioning live mines. It said, “We have realized that the number of 8,000 should probably be more correctly assessed to a lower level,” noting that 2,500 units are components that should not be counted as mines.[18]

Mine Action Funding

In 2002, Italy provided a total of €9.91 million (US$8.65 million)[19] in mine action funding.[20] This is a major increase from funding of approximately €5.6 million in 2001.

At the Standing Committee meetings in February 2003, Italy stated that mine action funding in 2002 represented a clearly upgraded engagement in mine action and an emphasis on maintaining continuity in funding. Constant project monitoring was needed, in order to persuade parliaments to increase their financial commitments to mine action.[21]

Funding of €9.81 million was provided via the Trust Fund for Humanitarian Demining. An additional €100,000 was donated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The following projects were funded in 2002:[22]


  • Afghanistan – €1 million to the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) for humanitarian demining and UXO disposal
  • Angola – €2.8 million, comprising €1 million to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) for structural support of the mine action plan, and €1.8 million to UNICEF for mine risk education
  • Azerbaijan – €200,000 to UNDP to develop national mine action capacity
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina – €1,825,000, comprising €1.1 million to UNDP for structural support of the mine action center, and €725,000 to UNICEF for mine risk education
  • Chad – €200,000 to UNDP for mine action
  • Ethiopia – €500,000, comprising €200,000 to UNDP for mine action coordination and €300,000 to UNICEF for mine risk education
  • Laos – €150,000 to UNDP for the national UXO program
  • Mozambique – €900,000, comprising €450,000 for the accelerated demining program and €450,000 to UNDP for the National Institute for Demining
  • Russia/Chechnya – €100,000 for victim assistance via the International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Sri Lanka – €400,000 to UNDP for mine action
  • Sudan – €158,000 to UNMAS for emergency mine action
  • Yemen – €500,000 to UNDP to support development of the national mine action program


  • UNMAS – €195,000 for the Emergency Response Plan based in Brindisi.
  • Geneva Call – €100,000 to support universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty by promoting the treaty to non-state actors in Africa and America
  • Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) – €212,000, including €67,000 for the sponsorship program, €45,000 for the Implementation Support Unit, and €100,000 for evaluation of field program
  • Organization of American States (OAS) – €250,000 to support humanitarian demining programs in Costa Rica and Honduras
  • ICBL – €420,000 for the ItCBL and the ICBL, aimed at universalizing the treaty, and hosting of Landmine Monitor Report 2003 global researchers’ meeting.

The Trust Fund for Humanitarian Demining, established as required by the legislation ratifying the Mine Ban Treaty, will expire on 31 December 2003. At the Standing Committee meetings in May 2003, Italy announced that it had started internal procedures to re-finance the Trust Fund after 2003.[23]

In January 2003, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that mine action funding in 2003 will decrease dramatically to €2.58 million ($2.45 million) and funds will be concentrated on fewer countries.[24] In May 2003, at the Standing Committee meetings, Italy described funding for 2003 as “so far totaling €2.58 million,” based on priorities identified as: Angola (€700,000), Iraq (€500,000), Bosnia and Herzegovina (€400,000), Croatia (€168,000), Azerbaijan (€200,000) and Yemen (€200,000). Organizations to be supported include the OAS (€100,000), GICHD (€112,000), Geneva Call (€100,000) and the UNMAS Emergency Response Plan (€100,000).[25]

Mine Action Assistance

In November 2002, Italy reported that Italian armed forces carried out humanitarian demining operations and related activities in the context of peacekeeping and peace-enforcing missions. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Italian Battle Group cleared five mined areas. In Kosovo, the Multinational West Brigade carried out two mine risk education courses for children at two schools and, in September 2002, held a mine risk education exhibition in Pec. Since the beginning of the Multinational West Brigade mission in 1999, Italian deminers found and destroyed 1,824 antipersonnel mines and 676 antivehicle mines. In 2002, Italian armed forces supplied troops for security duties and mine clearance as part of the international forces deployed to Afghanistan; they destroyed 116 mines.[26]

In May 2003, it was announced that 3,000 military personnel including deminers would be sent to Iraq, for duties including mine clearance.[27]

NGO involvement in mine action

The Italian NGO Intersos carries out mine action activities, including clearance, survey, mine risk education, and training. In 2002, it was active in Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Pakistan.[28] Details on Intersos activities can be found in the country reports in this edition of Landmine Monitor Report.

In 2002, the Italian NGO Movimondo continued to support the Nicaraguan army’s demining program with a mine risk education project in San Francisco Libre municipality.[29]

Landmine/UXO Casualties and Survivor Assistance

On 8 May 2002, an Italian soldier was killed and a German soldier injured when a KFOR vehicle carrying a mine clearance team hit a mine in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.[30]

On 4 January 2003, in the Niger desert close to the Algerian border, three Italian tourists were killed and their driver injured when their vehicle hit an antivehicle mine.[31] In April 2003, several Italian soldiers were injured when their vehicle hit a mine in Khost province, Afghanistan.[32]

Several Italian NGOs support survivor assistance programs in mine-affected countries. Additional information on the programs can be found in the relevant country report in this edition of Landmine Monitor Report.

The NGO AVSI (Associazione Volontari per il Servizio Internazionale) provides medical rehabilitation for war victims, including mine survivors, in northern Uganda. The program also includes psycho-social support and mine risk education.[33]

The NGO Emergency carries out survivor assistance programs in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Iraq. Assistance includes emergency medical care and surgery, physical rehabilitation and social reintegration. The programs in Afghanistan and Cambodia are funded by Emergency’s own resources, and from private donors and Italian local authorities, while funding for in Iraq comes from UNOPS via the “Oil for Food” program. [34]

Intersos provides support to the orthopedic center for mine survivors in the Menongue-Cuando Cubango province of Angola.

[1] Statement by Italy, Fourth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 16-20 December 2002. Landmine Monitor notes.
[2] “Italy’s Statement on Article 1 of the Ottawa Convention,” Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 7 February 2002.
[3] “Italy’s Statement on Article 2 of the Ottawa Convention,” Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 7 February 2002. See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, pp. 305-307, for details of the Italian positions on joint operations, transit of foreign mines, and antihandling devices.
[4] “Italian Statement,” Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 15 May 2003.
[5] Article 7 Reports submitted on: 16 April 2003 (for the period 17 October 1998–31 December 2002), 2 May 2002 (for the period 17 October 1998–31 December 2001), 30 April 2001 (for the period 17 October 1998–31 December 2000), 29 March 2000 (reporting period stated “as of 31 January 2000”).
[6] Senate, “Mozione sulle mine antiuomo,” (1-00082 p.a.), 15 October 2002.
[7] Speech by Alfredo Luigi Mantica, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Report of CNAUMA meeting,” 29 October 2002.
[8] ItCBL, "Promoting a truly mine-free world: The role of the Italian Presidency of the EU," June 2003, available at: www.doc.icbl.org/EU_PRESIDENCY.doc.
[9] See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 717-729.
[10] Article 7 Report, Form E, 16 April 2003: “National Military Authorities, in charge of collection and destruction of APMs owned or possessed by any civilian at the moment of entry into force of Law 374/97, have never received any report from MISAR.”
[11] Telephone interview with Colonel Oliva, Ministry of Defense, 2 May 2003; see also Landmine Monitor Report 2000, p. 670.
[12] Oral remarks to the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 11 May 2001.
[13] Letter to the ItCBL from Ministry of Defense, 13 May 2003.
[14] “Destruction of the Italian Antipersonnel Mine Stockpile,” Ministry of Defence presentation at Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 6 February 2003. Slightly different data is given in the Article 7 report submitted on 2 May 2002 (6,529,838 warfare mines and 592,901 practice mines). The Article 7 report submitted on 16 April 2003 notes 6,529,811 warfare mines and does not refer to practice mines.
[15] “Destruction of Valmara 69 Mine at Military Plant in Noceto,” Ministry of Defence, Defence Industries Agency presentation at Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 6 February 2003; Article 7 Report, Forms D and G, 2 May 2002; Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, Form C, 29 November 2002.
[16] “Experience and Expertise of Italy in the Mine Destruction,” Ministry of Defence, Defence Industries Agency presentation at Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 6 February 2003.
[17] Article 7 Report, Form D, 16 April 2003; Article 7 Report, Form D, 2 May 2002. The armed forces have retained 803 warfare mines and the European Commission’s Joint Research Center at Ispra holds eight warfare mines.
[18] “Italy’s Statement on Article 3 of Ottawa Convention, APLs Retained for Training Purposes,” to the Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 31 May 2002. Apparently, Italian national law requires counting the components as retained mines, but the Mine Ban Treaty would not.
[19] Exchange rate €1 = US$0.95, used throughout this report. Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 6 January 2003.
[20] Response to Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe questionnaire, 20 November 2002, pp. 2-3.
[21] “Italy’s Statement on Mine Action,” Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, 5 February 2003.
[22] Ibid; Article 7 Report, Form J, 16 April 2003; CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, Form B, 29 November 2002.
[23] Italy Statement, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, 14 May 2003.
[24] Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Report of CNAUMA meeting, 31 January 2003.
[25] Italy Statement, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, 14 May 2003.
[26] Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, Form F, 29 November 2002.
[27] “Italy to send 3,000 troops to southern Iraq in early June,” La Stampa (daily newspaper), 15 May 2003.
[28] Questionnaire from Valentina Crini, Intersos, 10 March 2003.
[29] Interviews with Vincenzo Pira, Movimondo, 11 and 26 March 2003.
[30] “Peacekeeper Killed in Macedonia Landmine Blast,” Agence France Presse, 8 May 2002.
[31] “Niger, iniziato trasferimento delle salme dei turisti italiani” (Niger starts transfer of Italian tourist corpses), Repubblic (daily newspaper), 5 January 2003.
[32] “Several injured as Italian military vehicle hits mine in Afghan southeast,” Islamic Republic of Iran External Service, 26 April 2003.
[33] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Davide Naggi, Program Coordinator, AVSI, Gulu, 15 March 2003.
[34] Email from Giorgio Raineri, Emergency, 11 March 2003; and responses to Landmine Monitor Survivor Assistance Questionnaires from Giorgio Raineri, Emergency, 17 March 2003; Rossella Miccio, Emergency Desk Officer for Afghanistan, 14 March 2003; and Donatella Farese, Emergency Desk Officer for Iraq, 11 March 2003.