04 April 2019
The Treaty remains one of the most successful disarmament instruments ever. With 80% of the world’s countries on board, and many other countries in de facto compliance, the Treaty has nearly eliminated the production and use of antipersonnel landmines by states, while contributing to saving people’s lives and limbs every day.
This year, in preparation for the Fourth Review Conference on a Mine Free-World, we are taking action and calling on all States Not Party to join the Treaty without delay and help end the suffering caused by landmines, within a few short years.
To this end ICBL has undertaken a global action culminating today 4 April, Mine Awareness Day. During the past month over 40 ICBL campaigns in some 32 countries around the world have postmarked letters calling for five targeted countries (listed below) that have already shown support for and worked on behalf of Treaty aims, to take immediate steps to accede to the Treaty ahead of the Fourth Review Conference, and to announce this to the global mine ban community at the conference taking place November 25-29 in Oslo.
- Cuba is the last country in Latin America and the Caribbean still remaining outside of the Mine Ban Treaty, it has expressed support for the humanitarian aim of the Treaty, and has participated in a number of Treaty meetings. In addition Cuba is a State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which is guided by the same humanitarian principles as the Mine Ban Treaty. Cuba’s accession to the Treaty would be of great significance – bringing all of Latin America and the Caribbean onboard of the Treaty.
- Georgia is one of only 32 states that still remain outside of the Treaty. Contaminated by landmines, Georgia has taken a number of important steps in the spirit of the Treaty, including clearing its land, providing assistance to victims, voting in favor of the annual UNGA resolution calling for universalization of the Treaty, as well as attending some treaty meetings. Since landmines still continue to take a toll on Georgia’s land and people, Georgia should immediately join the Treaty.
- Lebanon is among the 32 states that still remain outside of the Treaty. Heavily contaminated by landmines, Lebanon has taken a number of important steps in the spirit of the Treaty, including clearing contaminated land, providing assistance to victims, attending treaty meetings and speaking in favor of accession. In addition Lebanon is a State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which is guided by the same humanitarian principles as the Mine Ban Treaty. Since landmines still continue to take a heavy toll on Lebanon’s land and people, Lebanon should join the Treaty without delay.
- Singapore is also among the small number of states that still remain outside of the Mine Ban Treaty. Singapore has voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution calling for the universalization of the Treaty and has participated in a number of Treaty meetings. In addition, we understand that Singapore has ceased to produce antipersonnel mines and has a moratorium on their export. As a modern state and nation, actively supporting disarmament initiatives, Singapore’s accession would greatly contribute to regional peace and human security.
- The Republic of the Marshall Islands signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 when it first opened for signature. As of today the Marshall Islands is the last and only remaining signatory that has not ratified the Treaty. The Marshall Islands does not stockpile antipersonnel landmines and has repeatedly voted in favor of the annual UNGA resolution calling for universalization of the Treaty. There is no reason for the Marshall Islands not to take the final step to join the Treaty and its 164 States Parties.
In addition to these efforts to bring countries onboard the Mine Ban Treaty in 2019, ICBL looks forward to working with states and mine ban partners to amplify the following messages and ensure a strong plan of action for the Fourth Review Conference for a Mine-Free World:
- We sound an alarm and reiterate the urgency to address continued casualties from antipersonnel mines;
- We stress that use of antipersonnel mines, including improvised mines, is absolutely unacceptable by anyone, anywhere, constitutes an international humanitarian law crime, and should be strongly condemned and stopped;
- We continue to focus on the aspirational goal of a mine-free 2025;
- We emphasize the crucial role of state ownership in Finishing the Job!