ICBL calls on states to destroy their stockpiles of antipersonnel landmines, and report on progress of stockpile destruction, in addition to reporting on planned and actual use of retained mines.
States that are part of the Mine Ban Treaty must destroy their stockpiles of antipersonnel mines no later than four years after joining the treaty.
Stockpile destruction is the most effective form of preventive mine action: destroyed mines will never claim any victims. It has also been the most successful provision of the treaty: so far 90 States Parties have finished destroying their stockpiles, destroying over 49 million antipersonnel mines. A large number of other States Parties never possessed the weapon. A handful of States Parties are still in the process of destroying their stocks.
Three states missed their stockpile destruction deadlines and are now in violation of the treaty. Some states still report new stockpiles even after completing destruction (mines can be discovered, captured, seized or turned-in). They need to destroy those stocks as quickly as possible.
To States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty with stockpiles:
- Destroy stockpiles without further delay
- Fix a target end date for destruction and report regularly on progress made
- Hold public destruction events to promote transparency and regional confidence-building
- Report on and seek help in addressing any problems in destroying stockpiles
STATES PARTIES WITH STOCKPILES
States that missed their deadline:
- Belarus (3.4 million mines left to destroy) - Deadline was 1 March 2008
- Greece (452,695 mines left) - Deadline was 1 March 2008
- Ukraine (almost 6 million mines left) - Deadline was 1 June 2010
Other States Parties with stockpiles:
- Oman (17,260 mines) - Deadline is 1 February 2019
- Poland (16,957 mines) - Deadline is 1 June 2017
- Somalia reports no government-held stocks, but needs to find and destroy stocks it believes are held by other actors. Deadline is 1 October 2016
- Guinea-Bissau has discovered a small stockpile it needs to destroy urgently.
MINES RETAINED FOR TRAINING
Mine Ban Treaty members are allowed to retain or transfer mines for training and research in mine clearance, but this number should “not exceed the minimum number absolutely necessary” for those purposes. Governments have also committed to regularly reviewing the number of mines retained and destroying any over the minimum number strictly necessary.
A total of 72 States Parties have reported they are retaining mines. Many states are still retaining mines, but apparently not using them for permitted purposes. The number of mines they retain remains the same year after year, indicating none are consumed during training or research. Some states retain mines even though they are not known to engage in any research or training activities.
To states that retain antipersonnel mines for training under the Mine Ban Treaty should:
- Report on the planned and actual use of retained mines
- Regularly evaluate the number of retained mines to ensure it is the minimum number absolutely needed for live mines in training and research activities. Destroy any mines above this number.
- Explore available alternatives to using live mines for training and research activities
States Parties retaining high numbers of mines: Finland (16,500), Turkey (14,902), Bangladesh (12,050), Sweden (6,183), Belarus (5,998), Algeria (5,970), Greece (5,797) and Croatia (5,685).
States that have not reported consuming any mines for permitted purposes since joining the treaty: Burundi, Cape Verde, Cyprus, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Finland, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.
DEFINITION OF ANTIPERSONNEL MINES
The Mine Ban Treaty defines "anti-personnel mine" as a “mine designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person and that will incapacitate, injure or kill one or more persons.” The ICBL and many states have affirmed that this definition applies to any type of mine that can be set off by the unintentional act of a person. Therefore antivehicle mines equipped with tripwires, breakwires, tilt rods or highly sensitive anti-handling devices should be considered banned by the treaty. Mines that can be set off on command or by a tripwire (e.g. Claymore and OZM-72 mines) can only be considered legal when used in command-detonated mode.
- Destroy all mines that function as antipersonnel mines regardless of what they are called.
- Destroy all fuzes that can be attached to antivehicle mines to make them victim-activated.
- Make sure that mines with both command- and person-activated fuzes are permanently modified to function in command-detonated mode only.
States Parties known to stockpile antivehicle mines with trip wires or tilt rods: Czech Republic and Sweden