20 August 2014
The Sultanate of Oman has become the latest country to join the Mine Ban Treaty, after depositing its instrument of accession instrument at a ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in New York today.
(L-R) Ayman Sorour from ICBL member organisation Protection, with Oman delegate Mr. Abdullah Alkaabi at the Third Review Conference in Maputo in June 2014. Oman has taken a big step to 'Commit to Complete' by joining the Mine Ban Treaty.
Oman has become the 162nd State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty, which will enter into force for Oman on 1 February 2015 in accordance with the waiting period mandated.
"Oman is a welcome addition to the majority of the world’s nations that have already outlawed this indiscriminate and horrific weapon. Each new accession brings us closer to a landmine-free world. " said ICBL campaign Manager Firoz Ali Alizada.
Three of the six members of the Gulf Coordination Council (GCC) – Oman, Kuwait and Qatar – have now acceded to the Convention.
The ICBL has been engaging the Sultanate of Oman on the Mine Ban Treaty for several years including at least two visits to Muscat by ICBL Diplomatic Adviser Ambassador Satnam Jit Singh in 2012 and by Ayman Souror a member of the ICBL Governance Board with former ICBL staff member Simona Beltrami in 2007, meeting with high level representatives of the Sultanate of Oman to encourage Oman to join the Mine Ban Treaty. ICBL is glad to see the efforts have paid off and Oman acceded the treaty. We will continue our efforts to encourage the last 35 States not party including Oman’s neighboring countries Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to join the Mine Ban Treaty as soon as possible.
At the Third Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty, which took place in June this year, the ICBL issued a completion challenge to the mine ban community, which included a call for no new use of antipersonnel mines by any actor, anywhere, within a decade. We need to see universal respect for the mine ban norm, and the best way to ensure the permanency of such respect is through universal adherence to the treaty. Oman’s accession brings us one step closer to achieving this goal.
According to Landmine Monitor, Oman has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines but has imported and used them in the past. An Omani official stated in November 2007 that Oman’s stockpile consists of fewer than 2,000 antipersonnel mines, and that Oman has not bought any new mines for more than 20 years. Omani officials have, on several occasions, stated that Oman now only possesses antipersonnel mines for training purposes.
The 1997 Mine Ban Treaty comprehensively bans antipersonnel landmines and requires their clearance and assistance to victims.
For more information see the Mine Ban Treaty ISU Press Release on Oman's Accession.
Ambassador Lyutha Sultan Al-Mughairy presents Oman's accession instrument in New York © Mine Ban Treaty ISU