10 October 2017
Thirty-five states have yet to join the Mine Ban Treaty. There is no reason for them to delay in joining this widely embraced instrument.
Statement by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
First Committee on Disarmament and International Security
10 October 2017
Twenty years ago, on 10 October 1997, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The partnership between states, civil society and other actors was hailed by the Nobel Committee as “a convincing example of an effective policy for peace.”
Twenty years on, a lot has changed for communities affected by landmines. More than two dozen states are now free of landmine contamination, more than 51 million stockpiled antipersonnel landmines have been destroyed, and the needs of survivors are being recognized. Antipersonnel mines are widely viewed as an unacceptable weapon, and the few instances of use by states in recent years drew considerable criticism. In the past weeks, for instance, the use of antipersonnel mines by the armed forces of Myanmar at the border with Bangladesh was forcefully criticized by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, while the President of the Mine Ban Treaty called for a fact-finding mission. The ICBL condemns any use of antipersonnel mines by any actor.
This includes improvised explosive devices activated by the victim. Any device that is designed to explode due to the presence, proximity or contact of a person is indeed an antipersonnel mine, even when it is made from improvised materials. Such devices fall under the scope of the Mine Ban Treaty.
States Parties have adopted the goal of full treaty implementation by 2025. This will be doable if sustained financial resources are used in the most efficient manner possible. In support of this goal, we encourage affected states and donors to closely collaborate, including through individualized approaches where donors work in a concerted manner under the leadership of an affected state.
Here at First Committee, you can also act:
- Please promote universalization. Thirty-five states have yet to join the Mine Ban Treaty. There is no reason for them to delay in joining this widely embraced instrument.
- Also, please vote in favor of the Resolution on the Mine Ban Treaty. We thank the many states who vote in favor each year, in particular states not party that seize the opportunity to express support for the humanitarian aim of the treaty.