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Country Reports
VANUATU, Landmine Monitor Report 2005


Key developments since May 2004: Vanuatu ratified the Mine Ban Treaty on 16 September 2005. Vanuatu participated in the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Nairobi in November-December 2004.

The Republic of Vanuatu signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997. The national parliament approved ratification of the agreement on 27 May 2005.[1 ] The instrument of ratification was deposited with the UN on 16 September 2005. A Foreign Affairs official said that the ratification delay was due to “the unstable nature of Vanuatu’s domestic politics that...left the country without a president or parliament.”[2]

The treaty will enter into force for Vanuatu on 1 March 2006. The country’s initial Article 7 transparency measures report will be due on 28 August 2006.

Vanuatu participated in the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in Nairobi in November-December 2004. It did not make a statement in the high level segment, but its representative confirmed to the ICBL that the ratification process was progressing.[3 ]

On 3 December 2004, Vanuatu voted in favour of UN General Assembly Resolution 59/84, calling for universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty.[4]

Vanuatu attended intersessional Standing Committee meetings held in Geneva in June 2004, the country’s first participation in a Mine Ban Treaty-related meeting. It was not present for the June 2005 intersessional meetings.

Vanuatu has said that it has no stockpiled antipersonnel mines.[5 ] The islands are not believed to be mine-affected, but there are still military equipment dumps and unexploded ordnance left over from World War II.[6 ]

[1 ]Email to Deborah Morris-Travers, New Zealand Campaign Against Landmines, from Andy Piau-Lynch, Vanuatu Disabled Persons Assembly, 30 May 2005.

[2] Statement by Marie-Antoinette Nirua, Head, Europe/Middle East/Africa Division, Department of Foreign Affairs, Standing Committee on General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 25 June 2004.

[3 ]Interview with Johnny Koanapo, Head, United Nations Organizations Division, Department of Foreign Affairs, Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World (First Review Conference), Nairobi, 1 December 2004.

[4] Vanuatu was absent from the votes on similar annual resolutions in 1999, 2001 and 2002, but supported the 2000 and 2003 resolutions.

[5 ]Interview with Paul Sami, Head of Asia-Pacific Division, Department of Foreign Affairs, in Wellington, New Zealand, 27 March 2001.

[6 ]A 2003 report described the effects of this contamination as residual, with no casualties reported in recent years and few indications of detrimental effects on land use. Landmine Action, “Explosive Remnants of War: A Global Survey,” London, June 2003, p. 35.