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Country Reports
Solomon Islands, Landmine Monitor Report 2004

Solomon Islands

Key developments since May 2003: The Solomon Islands submitted its initial transparency measures report on 11 February 2004.

The Solomon Islands signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997, ratified on 26 January 1999, and the treaty entered into force for it on 1 July 1999. According to the report, there are “pieces of legislation within several Acts” that implement the Mine Ban Treaty and “a quick legislative survey will be done to ascertain the extent to which the treaty is covered under existing laws” and “determine whether an entirely new and stand alone legislation is necessary.”[1]

The Solomon Islands has never attended an annual Meeting of States Parties, but in February 2004 it participated in meetings of the treaty’s intersessional Standing Committees for the first time. The government’s Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ronald Unusi, confirmed that the Solomon Islands has never produced, transferred, or stockpiled antipersonnel mines; he also used the occasion to present the country’s first Article 7 report, covering the period from 1 July 1999 to 31 December 2003. The report was due by 28 December 1999. As in previous years, the Solomon Islands voted in support of UN General Assembly Resolution 58/53 on 8 December 2003.

In September 2001, a diplomatic source stated that the country has never used antipersonnel mines, but during the internal conflict of 1999 and 2000, some “primitive” improvised explosive devices were employed.[2] Weapons collection programs have been established to collect weapons obtained by armed non-state actors from unexploded ordinance (UXO) sites, ammunition dumps, and arms caches. The Solomon Islands is not mine-affected, but in June 2003, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs told Landmine Monitor, “World War II ordnance remains a problem not only on Guadalcanal, but in other parts of the country as well.”[3] A 2003 report written described the UXO contamination as significantly more complicated than in other parts of the Pacific.[4]

[1] Article 7 Report, Form A, 11 February 2004.
[2] Interview by David Capie, small arms researcher, with diplomatic source, Honiara, 24 September 2001. Information provided by Capie in email to Landmine Monitor (HRW), 2 December 2001.
[3] Letter from Colin Beck, Pacific Branch for Permanent Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs, 3 June 2003.
[4] John Borrie, Explosive remnants of war: a global survey, for Landmine Action, London, June 2003, p. 35 and 41.