The Mine Ban Treaty obliges States Parties to respect and ensure respect for all Treaty obligations. Article 8 of the treaty contains a set of steps states can take to clarify and seek to resolve compliance questions, beginning with informal consultation “in a spirit of cooperation” and progressing to formal fact-finding missions and the possibility of calling for special meetings.
So far States Parties have not wanted to make use of Article 8’s formal mechanisms, relying instead on ad hoc consultations among states when use allegations have been raised, until 2014 when the Committee on Cooperative Compliance was created by States Parties.
The Mine Ban Treaty has recently been faced with a number of compliance issues, including the most serious violation of the treaty -- use of antipersonnel landmines by a State Party.
Compliance issues that need urgent attention:
- Use of large numbers of antipersonnel landmines by Yemen. In its internal conflict in 2011-2012, Yemen admitted this most serious violation of the treaty to date.
- Allegations of use of antipersonnel mines by state forces in South Sudan and Sudan, which have not taken sufficient steps to thoroughly investigate and report findings to States Parties.
- Reports of use by members of the Turkish Armed Forces in southeastern Turkey in 2009.
- Three States Parties are still in violation of Article 4 after missing their stockpile destruction deadline.
- Some States Parties continue to take active military advantage of mined areas along borders or surrounding security installations instead of clearing them.
- Several States Parties have retained antipersonnel mines over a long period without appearing to use them for permitted purposes.
To all States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty:
- Consider using the formal provisions of Article 8 to ensure that States Parties which have violated the Treaty address issues of compliance in an urgent and adequate manner.
- Take other informal steps to address non-compliance, including seeking bilateral meetings with suspected or known treaty violators and insist on maximum transparency from the state about any investigation or other steps they are taking to address the situation.
- Elaborate on the fact-finding procedures in Article 8 so that they can be invoked quickly if necessary. This includes areas such as sources of information and standards of evidence, financing and processes for fact-finding missions, the list of experts and defining mandates for such missions.