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Anti-personnel landmines: Brussels conference to move towards mine-ban treaty

18-06-1997 News Release 97/23

More than one hundred States, the ICRC, the United Nations and various non-governmental organizations are expected to attend the Brussels International Conference for a Global Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines, which will take place from 24 to 27 June 1997. The Conference, hosted by the Belgian government, is an official follow-up to the Ottawa Conference held last October. Its purpose is to review progress made towards a worldwide prohibition of anti-personnel landmines and to agree on the action required to bring the negotiation of a treaty banning these weapons to a successful conclusion before the end of this year.

Governments wishing to attend the Conference as full participants will be required to support the Brussels Declaration, which commits them to negotiating a ban treaty by the end of 1997. All other guests will be present only as observers. The Conference itself will be in two parts: the first two days will deal with the key elements to be included in the treaty, and the other two will focus on various aspects of the anti-personnel mine problem in a series of four round tables. In the second round table, ICRC President Cornelio Sommaruga will address the issue of an integrated approach to victim assistance.