+   *    +     +     
About Us 
The Issues 
Our Research Products 
Order Publications 
Press Room 
Resources for Monitor Researchers 
Table of Contents
Country Reports
FINLAND, Landmine Monitor Report 2005


Key developments since May 2004: Finland announced in September 2004 that it would not join the Mine Ban Treaty until 2012, six years later than its previously stated goal. A total of €300 million (US$373 million) is to be devoted over eight years for landmine alternatives. In 2004, Finland provided some $4.8 million for mine action in mine-affected countries.

Mine Ban Policy

The Republic of Finland has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Since the expansion of the European Union in May 2004, Finland is the only EU country that has not signed, ratified or acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Finland’s Foreign Minister stated in March 2005, “Even though Finland has not been a party to the Convention, it has supported an effective and global ban on anti-personnel landmines, and has been, in fact, implementing most of the provisions of the Convention.”[1]

On 10 September 2004, Finland announced that it would join the Mine Ban Treaty in 2012, six years later than its previously stated goal, and would destroy its mine stockpiles by 2016. The goal of joining the treaty by 2006 was first stated in December 1997, reiterated in December 1999 and December 2000, and confirmed by a government report on foreign and security policy approved by parliament in December 2001.

The decision to back away from Finland’s long-stated goal to join the treaty in 2006 was included in the Security and Defense Policy Review 2004, which was approved by parliament on 21 December 2004. In this review, it was agreed that the Defense Force would be provided with €200 million over eight years in extra funding for replacements for landmines, and the army would have to allocate an additional €100 million. The replacement process is to start in 2009 and continue until 2016. The plan is to replace antipersonnel mines with close combat weapons and sensors.[2]

The Finnish government largely justified the decision to delay accession as a financial necessity. At a time when the military budget is decreasing, the government said it was not possible to fund the replacement program for antipersonnel mines by 2010 (the stockpile destruction deadline for a 2006 accession). The cost of landmine replacement systems was portrayed as the price tag for joining the Mine Ban Treaty, and was seen as too expensive. Until replacements were in place, landmines were viewed as an essential element in Finnish defense: cost-efficient, durable, simple and suitable for a large conscription army.[3] Defense Minister Seppo Kääriäinen said, “If the mines are given up in a hurry without enough funds directed to replacement systems, the credibility of Finnish defence will suffer.”[4]

In the Finnish parliamentary debate, the majority supported the decision to delay accession, except for the opposition Green Party and some members of the Left Alliance. Some parliamentarians said that staying out of the Mine Ban Treaty causes no harm to Finland’s reputation, since there is no public criticism from other states, the EU or UN.[5] Tarja Cronberg, a member of the Green Party and of the Defense Committee, said that the compromise reached by the government was the “worst possible, granting the military their money but not requiring accession.”[6]

Finland attended the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Nairobi in November-December 2004 with a delegation led by its Geneva-based disarmament ambassador. It did not make a statement during the high level segment. Finland also attended the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in June 2005, but made no interventions.

On 3 December 2004, Finland voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 59/84, calling for universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. Finland has voted for similar General Assembly resolutions each year since 1997.

Finland is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II, and participated in the Sixth Meeting of States Parties to the Protocol in November 2004. Finland submitted its annual report, as required by Article 13 of the Protocol, in October 2004. Finland’s disarmament ambassador has since November 2003 coordinated the efforts of a CCW Group of Governmental Experts in developing recommendations and proposals on mines other than antipersonnel mines (MOTAPM). The aim of Finland’s efforts is to successfully conclude negotiations on a binding instrument concerning antivehicle mines.[7]

Finland ratified CCW Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War on 23 March 2005.

NGO Activities

The Finland Campaign to Ban Landmines, coordinated by the Peace Union of Finland, concentrated its activities on the security review and the postponement decision, and on the First Review Conference. Peace organizations (the Peace Union of Finland and the Committee of 100) strongly criticized the decision to delay accession to the Mine Ban Treaty, saying it is unacceptable for Finland to continue the policy of double standards, where the government is supposedly committed to the objectives of the Mine Ban Treaty, but still intends to keep the mines until the end of their technical lifecycle.[8] The Peace Union of Finland, Finnish Red Cross and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) consultant, retired Brigadier General Paddy Blagden, all appeared before parliament to discuss the landmine issue and criticize the 2012 decision.

Production, Transfer and Stockpiling

According to Finland’s Foreign Minister, “Finland does not produce or export anti-personnel landmines and, during peacetime, anti-personnel mines are in stockpiles. There are no minefields in Finland.”[9]

Production of antipersonnel mines in Finland ceased in the early 1970s, and Finland has not acquired any antipersonnel mines since then, according to the interim security and defense report published in February 2004. The report points out that the EU Joint Action obliges Finland not to procure more antipersonnel mines.[10]

The Ministry of Defense will not reveal any details regarding Finland’s stockpile of antipersonnel mines. Following entry into force of CCW Amended Protocol II, Finland destroyed some types of antipersonnel mines (Sakaramiina 57 and 61), adapted others (SM-65), and destroyed some antivehicle mines (Pohjamiina 76).[11]

Funding and Assistance

In 2004 Finland provided a total of €4,800,000 (US$5,970,240) in mine action funding, representing a decrease from the €5,573,779 ($6,306,731) provided in 2003.[12] Funding was allocated in 2004 to eight countries and three organizations.[13]


  • Afghanistan: €1 million ($1,243,800) to UNMAS for mine clearance;
  • Angola: €1 million ($1,243,800), consisting of €150,000 ($186,570) to HALO Trust for mine clearance, €450,000 ($559,710) to FinnChurchAid for demining and mine risk education in Angola, €400,000 ($497,520) to Finnish Red Cross/ICRC for mine risk education and victim assistance;
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: €170,000 ($211,446) to Finnish Red Cross/ICRC for mine risk education;
  • Cambodia: €1,020,000 ($1,268,676), consisting of €670,000 ($833,346) to HALO for mine clearance, €100,000 ($124,380) to Handicap International for Cambodia, and €250,000 ($310,950) to FinnChurchAid for mine clearance;
  • Laos: €300,000 ($373,140) to UNDP for demining;
  • Russia: €180,000 ($223,884) to Finnish Red Cross/ICRC for mine risk education and victim assistance in north Caucasus;
  • Somalia: €200,000 ($248,760) to HALO for mine clearance;
  • Sri Lanka: €130,000 ($161,694) to MAG for post-conflict rehabilitation in Vanni region.


  • Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining: €100,000 ($124,380);
  • UNICEF: €200,000 ($248,760) for mine risk education in Sudan and Eritrea;
  • UNMAS: €500,000 ($621,900) for national level 1 survey.

Finland has previously has provided funding for Ethiopia, Mozambique, Croatia and Kosovo, in addition to countries funded in 2004.[14]

[1] Statement by Foreign Minister Errke Tuomioja, Conference on Disarmament, Final Record of the Nine Hundred and Seventy-Ninth Plenary Meeting (CD/PV.979), 15 March 2005.

[2] Office of the Prime Minister, “Turvallisuus- ja puolustuspoliittinen selonteko 2004” (Finnish Security and Defence Policy 2004), Publication 18/2004.

[3] See for example, “Suomen on uskallettava puolustaa miinapolitiikkaansa” (Finland has to have courage to defend its mine policy), Helsingin Sanomat, 12 February 2004.

[4] Seppo Kääriäinen, Minister of Defense, “Suhteellisuudentajua miinakeskusteluun” (Sense of proportion needed in the Mine debate), Web column, 29 July 2004, published on the website of Ministry of Defense, www.defmin.fi, accessed 9 September 2005.

[5] General debate in the Finnish parliament, 28 September 2004.

[6] Quoted in: “Hallitus pääsi alustavaan sopuun Suomen liittymisestä miinasopimukseen 2012” (“Government reached preliminary consensus on acceding to Ottawa Treaty in 2012”), Helsingin Sanomat, 8 September 2004.

[7] Interview with Taina Susiluoto, Senior Defense Policy Advisor, Ministry of Defense, 3 May 2005.

[8] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 962-964, for more details on the national and international reactions to Finland’s decision.

[9] Statement by Foreign Minister Errki Tuomioja, Conference on Disarmament, Final Record of the Nine Hundred and Seventy-Ninth Plenary Meeting (CD/PV.979), 15 March 2005.

[10] “Puolustusministeriön Jalkaväkimiinaselvitystyöryhmän Väliraportti” (“Interim report of Ministry of Defense working group on infantry landmines”), 19 December 2003, published 10 February 2004, p. 21.

[11] CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, Form C, 4 December 2000.

[12] Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 965.

[13] Email from Teemu Sepponen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 13 July 2005. Average exchange rate for 2004: €1 = $1.2438. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2005.

[14] For Finland’s mine action funding policy, see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 966.