Transparency and open exchange of information are key elements of the success of the Mine Ban Treaty. Fifth Meeting of the States Parties, Bangkok (Thailand), 2003. Photo: Damir Atikovic
Article 7 of the Mine Ban Treaty requires States Parties to provide a detailed annual report to the United Nations. It must include information on stockpiles and their destruction, location of mined areas and number of mines destroyed, status of former mine production facilities, mine risk education measures, etc. Transparency and open exchange of information are key elements of the success of the Mine Ban Treaty and are a means for states to communicate their need for international cooperation and assistance. The ICBL calls on governments to include additional information in their reports, such as information on victim assistance programs, international cooperation and assistance, and foreign stockpiles. States not party to the treaty can also submit voluntary reports as an interim step on the road towards accession.
International Cooperation and Assistance
Mine action and victim assistance funding must continue a high levels
Under Article 6, States Parties have the right to seek and receive assistance for the fulfillment of their treaty obligations. Article 6 encourages States Parties to exchange equipment, material and scientific and technological information relevant to treaty implementation. States Parties in a position to do so are asked to provide assistance for the care and rehabilitation of victims, the clearance of lands and the destruction of stockpiles. Assistance should be structured in a way that helps the mine-affected state build its own mine action capacity and finish its obligations as quickly and efficiently as possible. It can be provided on a bi-lateral basis or through the UN system and international and regional organizations.
States Parties' record of compliance with the Mine Ban Treaty has been generally very good. This reflects the high level of respect with which it is treated and the cooperative approach surrounding the treaty's implementation. Yet there have been an increasing number of compliance issues over recent years and the need to address them effectively is now urgent. Article 8 of the treaty calls for both formal and informal processes for "facilitation and clarification of compliance" with the treaty. We encourage States Parties to elaborate on the procedures in Article 8 so that they can be invoked quickly if necessary, and to consider also less formal steps to address potential compliance cases.
National Implementation Measures
Under Article 9, States Parties are required to "take all appropriate legal, administrative and other measures, including imposition of penal sanctions, to prevent and suppress any activity prohibited" by the treaty. To date only a small percentage of States Parties have passed domestic laws to implement the treaty. The ICBL is concerned about the need for all states to enact national legislation or other measures that would impose penal sanctions for any potential future violations of the treaty, and would provide for full implementation of all aspects of the treaty.