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Holy See, Landmine Monitor Report 2004

Holy See

Key developments since 1999: The Holy See became a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty on 1 March 1999.

Mine Ban Policy

The Holy See signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified it on 17 February 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 March 1999.

The Holy See was an early supporter of a mine ban. Pope John Paul II called for a total ban on antipersonnel mines in April 1996, shortly before the final session of the Review Conference of the Convention on Conventional Weapons.[1] Later, the Vatican criticized the Review Conference’s failure to produce a ban.[2] In following years, Pope John Paul II expressed strong support for the Ottawa Process leading to the Mine Ban Treaty.[3]

The Holy See participated in the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in September 2003, where its representative called on “important States that produce anti-personnel mines and countries that are affected” to join the treaty. The Holy See also urged that funding for mine victim assistance be increased and pointed out the need to maintain this for many years.[4] The Holy See has attended all the annual Meetings of States Parties since 1999.

Regarding national implementation legislation, the Holy See takes the view that this “is unnecessary because it has never possessed or used anti-personnel mines.”[5]

The Holy See attended the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in February and June 2004. It has attended all intersessional meetings since 1999.

The Holy See submitted its annual Article 7 transparency report on 4 May 2004, confirming that information reported previously was unchanged. The Holy See has submitted three previous Article 7 reports.[6] It did not submit required annual updates in 2000 and 2001.

Financial contributions to mine action were made by the Holy See in 2000 (US$10,000) and 1999 ($4,000).[7]

The Holy See is a State Party to Amended Protocol II of the Convention on Conventional Weapons, and attended the Fifth Annual Conference of States Parties to the Protocol in November 2003. It submitted its annual report required by Article 13 of the Protocol on 10 October 2003. This states that the Holy See “has never used, stockpiled or produced any sort of mines. There are no mines placed on the territory of Vatican City State... the provisions of [Amended Protocol II and the Mine Ban Treaty] have been completely implemented.”[8] The Holy See has attended annual conferences of States Parties to the Protocol and submitted Article 13 reports in previous years.

[1] “Pope calls for total ban on landmines,” Reuters, 21 April 1996.
[2] “Vatican condemns decision of landmine conference,” Reuters, 6 May 1996.
[3] “Pope urges all countries to sign anti-mine treaty,” Reuters, 28 February 1999.
[4] Intervention by Francesco Cao Minh-Dung, Fifth Meeting of States Parties, Bangkok, 16 September 2003.
[5] Article 7 Report, Form A, 5 April 2002 (for the period January 2000-December 2001).
[6] See Article 7 Reports submitted: 4 May 2004 (for calendar year 2003); 26 February 2003 (for calendar year 2002); 5 April 2002 (for the period January 2000–December 2001); 28 August 1999 (for the period February 1998–August 1999). Article 7 reports were also due on 30 April 2000 and 30 April 2001.
[7] No contributions in later years are recorded by the Mine Action Investments database, www.mineaction.org , accessed on 21 July 2004.
[8] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, General Remarks, 10 October 2003.