Ottawa Treaty (Mine Ban Treaty)

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The Mine Ban Treaty, commonly referred to as the Ottawa Treaty, is a global agreement that forbids the use, storage, production, and transfer of anti-personnel mines (APMs). It became operative on March 1, 1999, and was made available for signature on December 3, 1997, in Ottawa, Canada. 164 nations were signatories to the pact at the time of my most recent update in September 2021.

The Ottawa Treaty’s main clauses include:
  • Ban on Use: Anti-personnel mines are to be completely banned from usage, according to the treaty. The use of APMs in any armed conflict or circumstance is forbidden.
  • Ban on Production and Transfer: The production, transfer, and acquisition of APMs are prohibited by the treaty. Additionally, it forbids the export of APMs from one nation to another.
  • Destruction of Stockpiles: States that are signatories to the treaty are obligated to get rid of their APM stockpiles within set deadlines.
  • Clearance and Assistance: The treaty calls for states to cooperate in demining affected regions and to offer mine-affected communities support, including assistance for victims’ rehabilitation.
  • Victim help: The treaty obliges states to offer adequate help, including medical care, rehabilitation, and psychological support. It also recognizes the rights and needs of mine victims.
  • Reporting: States parties are obligated to provide yearly reports on how well they are carrying out the terms of the treaty.

Anti-personnel mines may have a terrible effect on civilian populations, and the Mine Ban Treaty has been successful in bringing this to light. It has aided in the cleanup of impacted areas and resulted in considerable decreases in the usage and manufacturing of APMs. The treaty has also enhanced support for mine survivors and their communities.

It is important to keep in mind that not all nations have ratified the convention, and some significant mine-producing and -using nations are still not parties. Popular nations like the United States, Russia, China, India, and Pakistan are among these. There are continuous initiatives to persuade these nations to sign the treaty and support the global initiative to eliminate anti-personnel mines.

I advise consulting more recent sources for the most updated information on the Ottawa Treaty and its status because international accords and treaties can change over time.

Destruction of stockpiled anti-personnel mines

Except as provided for in Article 3, each State Party agrees to destroy or ensure the destruction of all stockpiled anti-personnel mines as soon as possible but no later than four years after the State Party’s entry into force for this Convention.

Destruction of anti-personnel mines in mined areas
  1. As soon as practically possible but no later than ten years following the entrance into force of this Convention for that State Party, each State Party undertakes to dismantle or ensure the destruction of all anti-personnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control.
  2. Each State Party shall use all reasonable efforts to identify all areas under its jurisdiction or control where anti-personnel mines are known or suspected to have been positioned, and shall ensure as soon as is practicable that all anti-personnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control are perimeter-marked, under constant surveillance, and protected by fencing or other means, to ensure the effective exclusion of civilians, until all anti-personnel mines contained therein have been destroyed. The marking must, at the very least, comply with the requirements outlined in the Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices, as amended on May 3, 1996, which is annexed to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Considered to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects.
  3. A State Party may ask a Meeting of the States Parties or a Review Conference for an extension of the deadline for completing the destruction of such anti-personnel mines for a period of up to ten years if it believes it won’t be able to destroy or ensure the destruction of all the anti-personnel mines mentioned in paragraph 1 within that time frame.
  4. Each request must include:
    • a) How long the planned extension would last;
    • b) A thorough justification for the suggested extension, including
      • (i) The planning and progress of work done in accordance with national demining initiatives;
      • (ii) The State Party’s financial and technological resources for getting rid of all the anti-personnel mines; and
      • (iii) Situations that make it difficult for the State Party to remove all anti-personnel mines from mined areas;
    • b) The extension’s effects on humankind, society, the economy, and the environment; and
    • d) Any further details pertaining to the extension request.
  5. After evaluating the request in light of the criteria in paragraph 4 and voting by a majority of the States Parties present, the Meeting of the States Parties or the Review Conference will decide whether to approve the request for a longer period of time.
  6. Upon the submission of a fresh request in accordance with this Article’s paragraphs 3, 4, and 5, such an extension may be renewed. A State Party who requests another extension period must provide any pertinent new information on the actions taken during the last extension period in accordance with this Article.

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