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Introduction, Landmine Monitor Report 2005


The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (“Mine Ban Treaty”) entered into force on 1 March 1999. Signed by 122 governments in Ottawa, Canada in December 1997, the Mine Ban Treaty now has 147 States Parties.[1] An additional seven states have signed but not yet ratified. A total of 40 states remain outside the treaty. States Parties, observer states, and other participants met for the treaty’s First Review Conference in Nairobi (the “Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World”) from 29 November to 3 December 2004 to review the progress and problems of the past five years, to assess the remaining challenges and to plan for the future. States Parties agreed to adopt the Nairobi Action Plan which will guide efforts for the next five years.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) considers the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty the only viable comprehensive framework for achieving a mine-free world.[2] The treaty and the global effort to eradicate antipersonnel mines have yielded impressive results. A new international norm is emerging, as many governments not party to the Mine Ban Treaty are taking steps consistent with the treaty, and an increasing number of non-state armed groups are also embracing a ban. New use of antipersonnel mines continues to decline, with compelling evidence of new use by just four governments in this Landmine Monitor reporting period (since May 2004), as well as use by non-state armed groups in 13 countries. There were no confirmed instances of antipersonnel mine transfers, as the de facto global ban on trade held tight. Six more States Parties completed destruction of their stockpiled antipersonnel mines. The global total of stockpiled antipersonnel mines destroyed in recent years by States Parties and non-States Parties is about 63 million. Landmine Monitor removed two countries from its list of antipersonnel mine producers: Egypt and Iraq.

Mine clearance and survey continued, with over 135 square kilometers of mine-affected land cleared in 37 countries and areas, and over 190,000 mines destroyed during 2004. An additional 250 square kilometers were surveyed. Several mine-affected States Parties revised their mine action strategies, in light of the treaty-deadline for destruction of all antipersonnel mines in mined areas. In some cases, both planning and progress in clearance do not appear to be on course to meet States Parties' treaty deadlines. Mine risk education programs increased, and in many cases were integrated with survey, marking and clearance activities. New mine casualties were reported in every region of the world, and the overall number of landmine survivors continued to grow, although there were fewer new casualties in 2004. At the First Review Conference, 24 States Parties were identified as having significant numbers of mine survivors, and the greatest needs for assistance in meeting their responsibilities to mine survivors.

Progress has been made, yet daunting challenges remain to universalize the Mine Ban Treaty and strengthen the norm of banning antipersonnel mines, to fully implement the treaty, to clear mines from the ground, to destroy stockpiled antipersonnel mines, and to assist mine survivors. The ICBL believes that the only real measure of the Mine Ban Treaty’s success will be the concrete impact that it has on the global antipersonnel mine problem. As with the six previous annual reports, Landmine Monitor Report 2005 provides a means of measuring that impact.

This introductory chapter provides a global overview of the current Landmine Monitor reporting period since May 2004. It contains sections on banning antipersonnel mines (universalization, treaty implementation, use, production, trade, and stockpiling), on mine action (including mine risk education), and on landmine casualties and survivor assistance.

[1] As of 1 October 2005.

[2] The ICBL generally uses the short title, Mine Ban Treaty; other short titles in use include: Ottawa Treaty, Ottawa Convention, Antipersonnel Mine Ban Convention, and Mine Ban Convention.