04 December 2015
Representatives from ninety-nine countries, including ten States not party along with over one hundred members of civil society participated in the 14th Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty. The meeting was opened on 30 November 2015 with the participation of Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium, Belgium's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Vice-President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Director of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the President of the Geneva Center for Humanitarian Demining, at the UN in Geneva.
Mozambique formally announced that it has completed the clearance of all known mined areas on its territory. Sri Lanka announced a ‘paradigm shift’ in its policy regarding the Mine Ban Treaty, by making a formal statement for the first time since 2009 that it is ‘considering seriously’ acceding to the Mine Ban Treaty in 2016. Finland declared that it has completed the destruction of over one million stockpiled antipersonnel mines, ahead of its treaty deadline of 1 July 2016. The U.S. reaffirmed its commitment to comply with the key requirements of the Mine Ban Treaty, with the exception of the Korean Peninsula.
A high-level session on victim assistance, chaired by Princess Astrid of Belgium, highlighted the importance of assistance to victims of landmines and other explosive remnants of war. Landmine survivors from Afghanistan, Colombia, Thailand, Mozambique and Uganda shared their perspectives on the challenges facing landmine victims and ways forward. They reminded participants that ‘mine-free, doesn’t mean victim-free’.
The final report of the meeting condemned the use of antipersonnel mines by any actor. The States Parties granted the mine clearance deadline extension requests submitted Cyprus, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal.
Chile was appointed President of the 15th Meeting of States Parties. The meeting also approved a guide to facilitate the submission of transparency reports by States Parties.
It was agreed that the 15th Meeting of States Parties of the Mine Ban Treaty will take place from 28 November to 2 December 2016 in Santiago, Chile.