As this year’s meetings of Intersessional Standing Committees (ISC) to the Mine Ban Treaty opened, the ICBL is rasing serious concerns that states are not living up to their obligations under the Treaty, threatening the global norm and impact of this unique international law.
“We are ringing alarm bells this week and reminding states that being part of this treaty comes with legal obligations that cannot be taken lightly,” said Kasia Derlicka, ICBL Director.
Firoz Ali Alizada, ICBL Campaign Manager, delivers a statement on universalisation on the opening day of the ISC meetings in Geneva. Photo credit: Stéphane De Greef/ICBL
Through its statements and in meetings with delegates this week the ICBL is spreading the message that states must take firm and immediate action to ensure the Treaty and the norm continue to hold strong.
Of particular concern are serious allegations of use of antipersonnel mines by at least three States Parties: Sudan and Yemen recently, plus the ongoing investigations and legal proceedings in Turkey.
Compounding these allegations of use by States Parties are increased confirmed instances of use by non-States Parties, including Syria and Myanmar this year and last year, and Israel and Libya last year.
“The norm that has been established by the Mine Ban Treaty in the 15 years since it was adopted is, we fear, under attack. Any use of antipersonnel mines by any actor must be publicly and resoundingly condemned, not only by the ICBL and our partner organisations, but foremost by the States Parties themselves,” Derlicka said.
In addition to the use allegations against States Parties, the ICBL also has concerns about compliance in several other areas of the Treaty:
- Missed deadlines on stockpile destruction of antipersonnel mines by Belarus, Greece and the Ukraine;
- Too many States Parties retaining a stockpile of mines for training and development purposes without any indication that they are actually utilizing them for permitted purposes;
- Too many countries making no or slow progress on clearing their contaminated land. So far in the life of the Treaty, 27 states have requested more time than the decade the Treaty gives all countries to clear their mined land.
More about the ISC meetings
The ISC meetings are open to States Parties, states not party, relevant international organizations and non-governmental organizations.
Delegates from more than 100 countries listen to updates. (c) Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit
The ISCs fall exactly mid-way between the last and next review conference of the treaty and are an opportunity to review the progress made so far in implementing the CAP and the MBT.
This week in Geneva, the ICBL expects:
- States Parties to report on what they have done recently “to translate this action plan into sustainable progress” and on how they plan to fully implement the CAP by the end of 2014, when the Third Review Conference of the MBT will take place.
- States not party to report on steps that have taken to join the treaty.
- All states to condemn all recent use of AP mines, and to highlight the fact that the use of landmines is unacceptable by anyone anywhere under any circumstances.
- All states to actively participate in discussions throughout the ISC meetings, in particular on the following key issues: treaty compliance; new extension requests for clearance deadlines; mined areas discovered after the treaty deadline has passed; slow or lack of progress on stockpile destruction, land clearance and victim assistance.
Every year the ICBL actively participates in these meetings, delivering expert statements, making the voice of mine survivors heard, organizing side events and providing information online and to the media on progress being made to eradicate landmines once and for all.
ICBL Daily Summaries
Daily summary - Monday 21 May
Daily summary - Tuesday 22 May
Daily summary - Wednesday 23 May
Daily summary - Thursday 24 May
Daily summary - Friday 25 May
ICBL Statement on Universalisation
ICBL Statement on Transparency
ICBL Presentation on Article 3 - Mines Retained
ICBL Statement on updates from States Parties that have completed implementaion of Article 5 since the 11MSP
ICBL Statement on Stockpile Destruction
ICBL Statement on Newly Discovered Mined Areas
ICBL Statement on the Extension Request Process
ICBL Comments on States Parties that Have Received Extensions under Article 5
ICBL Comments on Other States Parties Implementing Article 5
ICBL Comments and Questions on Progress Reports
ICBL Statement on in the Impact of Victim Assistance on the Ground
ICBL Statement on in the Impact of Victim Assistance on the Ground - A Survivor's View
Handicap International Statement on the Impact of Victim Assistance on the Ground
ICBL Statement on Compliance
ICBL Statement on Resources
Download the ICBL's logistical memo (also available in French and Spanish) for more information on the registration process, sponsorship criteria and rules, the provisional schedule, the visa process, hotels, side events and further practical details.
ICBL Logistical Memo_Intersessional Standing Committees Meetings
ICBL Memo Logistique - Intersessional Standing Committees Meetings
ICBL Memorando - Intersessional Standing Committees Meetings
ICBL Side Events Form_Intersessional Standing Committees Meetings
The Broken Chair standing outside the United Nations in Geneva is a reminder of the casualties caused by antipersonnel mines and of the need for diplomatic action. Photo: Mary Wareham
Download the ICBL Action Alert in English, French and Spanish
Download a memo about the meetings to share with your government delegates in English, French, Spanish and Arabic