The International Campaign
The Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel landmines resulted from unprecedented close cooperation between civil society organizations and like minded governments concerned about the issue. Started by non-governmental organizations - that had seen first hand the devastating effects of anti-personnel mines - the call to ban them totally was later supported by like-minded governments that worked to enshrine this ban in international law.
Working together on the landmines issue, this coalition of NGOs and governments made a dramatic breakthrough - the convention banning anti-personnel landmines was negotiated, signed and ratified in just over 23 months.
International obligations under the Ottawa Convention
The world celebrated when 122 States signed the Ottawa Convention in December 1997. Then the real work to effectively implement it began. The Ottawa Convention gives a broad framework for dealing with the global landmine problem. When they formally accept its terms, States agree to:
- immediately stop producing, transferring and using anti-personnel mines;
- destroy stockpiled anti-personnel mines within four years of signing the Convention;
- clear mined areas;
- aid mine victims;
- educate people in mine awareness to reduce their risks, and;
- co-operate to comply fully with the Convention.
States' work on these commitments, joined with that of many individuals, non-governmental and international organizations form the efforts known around the world as ‘mine action’.
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