Saturday, December 08, 2012

Progress on Landmines

This week in Geneva at the review conference of the Ottawa Convention (the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction), six states announced that they have completed demining operations within their borders and are now mine-free. One of the six was Denmark, which in July removed the last of the 1.4 million mines laid by Germany during World War II.

Poland announced that it is prepared to ratify the Ottawa Convention. When it does so, it will become the 161st state party and the last of the European Union's member states to ratify.

The United States, present at the review conference as an observer, stated that it will "soon" complete a review begun in 2009 that was intended to determine whether it should sign the agreement. The United States is the only NATO member state that has not ratified the Ottawa Convention.