For information only - not an official document

21 December 2017


Re-issued as received

Landmine conference addresses progress in implementation and the need to universalize the convention as the number of new victims grows

VIENNA/GENEVA, 21 December (UN Information Service) - The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention's Sixteenth Meeting of the States Parties (16MSP) has concluded in Vienna, Austria, recording success in stockpile destruction  with Belarus announcing it had destroyed over three million stockpiled landmines bringing to 159 the number of States that no longer have destruction obligations under the Convention. With Belarus' stockpile destruction, the States Parties have now destroyed more than 51 million landmines.  In addition, Algeria declared that after more than three decades, it had fulfilled its mine clearance obligation and that had decided not to retain any anti-personnel mines for training, further eliminating these weapons from its territory.

The Conference expressed concern for the ever-growing use of improvised landmines which has driven up the number of casualties to its highest levels since the 1990s. The Conference agreed that more sustained and targeted efforts were needed if the international community is to meet its 2025 mine-free ambition. In addition, the Conference called for sustained assistance to victims of these weapons, especially as the number of victims has increased including a staggering number of children which will require decades of prosthesis and medical care.

The Conference involved more than 500 participants representing over 100 delegations including 95 States (81 States Parties and 15 that are not yet part of the treaty), and 22 international and non-governmental organisations, including those representing landmine survivors.

The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Thomas Hajnoczi, Ambassador of Austria and Head of the Austrian Department for Disarmament. The Ambassador, who also led the work of the Convention for the past year, was a key figure of the process that in 1997 led to the adoption and signing of the treaty.

 "It is really uplifting to think of the tens of thousands of lives that have been spared thanks to the Convention. When I compare the small number of States that set out to bring about the ban of anti-personnel mines together with the ICBL and ICRC 20 years ago, to where we stand today with 163 States Parties… that is change for a safer and better world. I am grateful that I could be part of it," said the Ambassador who is sometimes called "the Father of the Convention text" for his participation in creating the treaty.

 To commemorate the anniversary, several high-level personalities attended the Meeting including the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Co-Laureate and former ICBL Coordinator Jody Williams and the President of the ICRC, Peter Maurer. Both organisations were key in the process that concluded in the adoption and signing of the treaty. In addition, the Convention's Special Envoys Princess Astrid of Belgium and Prince Mired of Jordan participated in the Meeting. Following the footsteps of the late Princess Diana of Wales, Prince Harry, through a video message, encouraged the Meeting to action for a landmine-free 2025.

Work of the Conference

Clearing of all mined areas

Five States Parties requested and were granted extensions on their mine clearance deadlines under the following conditions,  

Destroying stockpiles

Universal adoption of the Convention

Next Presidency

The conference elected  Afghanistan as the next presidency of the Convention effective immediately following the Meeting and throughout 2018. 

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For more information please contact:
Laila Rodriguez-Bloch
Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit
The Ottawa Convention
Email: l.rodriguez[at]   
Mobile/WhatsApp. + 41 (0)79 853 5905