Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Ottawa Treaty or the Mine Ban Treaty (formally the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction bans completely all anti-personnel landmines (AP-mines). It has been initialed by more than 140 states since 1997, but still more than 40 states refuse to initial (China, Russia and USA amongst them).
The first steps for adoption were undertaken in 1992. Written in Oslo, Norway, in September 1997, states from all over the world were invited to initial the convention in Ottawa, Canada, on 3 and 4 December 1997. Originally opened in Ottawa (Canada) the treaty is open for signature at the United Nations HQ in New York from 5th december 1997 (until its entry into force).
The Ottawa Treaty required 40 ratifications to come into effect and become international law. On 16 September 1998, Burkina Faso became the 40th State to sign the treaty. The treaty entered into force and became binding among the 40 ratifying States on 1 March 1999.
After that date, each additional State becomes bound six months after its instrument is deposited. At that point the State is considered to be a party to the treaty or a "State Party".
Implementation of the treaty
Besides stopping the production and development of AP-mines, a party to the treaty must destroy all the AP-mines in its possession within 4 years. Just a small number of mines is allowed to remain for training (mine-clearance, -detection, etc.). Within ten years after signing the treaty, a State Party should have cleared all of its mined areas. This is a difficult task for many states, but at the annual meetings (see below) they may request an extension (and help).
Just AP-mines are covered. Mixed mines, anti-handling devices and other "static" explosive devices (against persons) are not within the treaty.
Excerpt from the Ottawa treaty:
- Each State Party undertakes never under any circumstances:
- To use anti-personnel mines;
- To develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, anti-personnel mines;
- To assist, encourage or induce, in any way, anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a State Party under this Convention.
- Each State Party undertakes to destroy or ensure the destruction of all anti-personnel mines in accordance with the provisions of this Convention.
Annual meetings of the State Parties are held at different location all around the world. These meetings provide a forum to report on what has been accomplished, indicate where additional work is needed and seek any assistance they may require.
- meeting in May 1999 in Maputo (in mine-affected Mozambique)
- meeting in September 2000 in Geneva, Switzerland
- meeting in September 2001 in Managua (in mine-affected Nicaragua)
- meeting in September 2002 in Geneva, Switzerland
- meeting in September 2003 in Bangkok, Thailand
- ICBL website (International Campaign to Ban Landmines)
- Full English text at ICRC website (International Committee of the Red Cross)
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