09 November 2017
Overwhelming support this year again
Cambodia © Sean Sutton
In October 2017, at the end of the First Committee meeting of the 72th UNGA session, states voted on the annual UN resolution on the implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty.
Resolution L.40 was adopted by First Committee with a vote of 158 in favor, none against, and 16 abstentions, a result consistent with previous years. Fourteen states not yet party to the Mine Ban Treaty voted in favor of the resolution, thus making a commendable demonstration of support for the aim of ending the suffering caused by antipersonnel mines. The 16 states that abstained are all outside the Treaty. As per past practice, no one voted against.
The slight decrease in favorable votes can be explained by the absence of some delegations at the time of voting. In the last decade, between 160 and 168 states voted in favor of the UNGA resolution on the Mine Ban Treaty, in December.
Singapore, a state not party to the Treaty, explained its favorable vote on L.40 and stated its support for initiatives against the use of mines.
Nine states that abstained explained their votes. The Republic of Korea mentioned its financial support to demining and victim assistance. Morocco spoke about its de facto compliance with the main provisions of the Treaty. Myanmar noted the importance of working effectively to remove landmines.
Cuba said it shared the legitimate concern regarding the “irresponsible” use of mines. Libya and Egypt recalled their disappointment that the Mine Ban Treaty does not request user states to bear a special responsibility to address the consequences of landmine use, and Egypt further shared its view that the Treaty lacks a balance between humanitarian concerns and military necessity. India explained its long-held position that CCW Protocol II meets its defense requirements. Iran stated its appreciation for the humanitarian objectives of the resolution but said the Mine Ban Treaty does not adequately take security concerns into consideration. Pakistan referred to the role of landmines in its defense strategy.
The resolution will be submitted to the UN General Assembly in December 2017, for a final vote. States that were absent from the voting at First Committee should make sure they support the resolution in December.
Detailed information on this year’s First Committee debates is available through the First Committee Monitor.
A record of last years’ votes is available here.