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Explosive remnants of war and the Movement strategy on landmines

30-06-2003

Council of Delegates of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Geneva, 30 November - 2 December 2003

 Document prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross in consultation with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Item 8.3 on the agenda)  

 
Executive summary 

Since the early 1990s the components of the Movement have played a major role in global efforts to end the human suffering caused by landmines. In 1999 the Council of Delegates adopted a five-year strategy designed to promote coherent action by the Movement's components in addressing this issue. The objectives of the strategy are to promote the prohibition of anti-personnel landmines in order ultimately to achieve their elimination, and to reduce the impact of these weapons on civilians in mine-affected communities through the provision of assistance and protection.

Progress towards universal adherence to and full implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines (the Ottawa Convention) has been impressive. However, with the First Review Conference scheduled for 2004 and the first deadlines for mine clearance arriving in 2009, the next six years will be crucial in the effort to ensure that the promises made by the Convention to mine-affected communities are fulfilled. To promote and maintain a high level of commitment on the part of governments, all the components of the Movement should renew their own commitment to alleviating the human suffering caused by anti-personnel landmines by extending the Movement Strategy on Landmines through 2009.

In 2001, the Council of Delegates adopted Resolution 8 on other explosive remnants of war, which pose the same threat to civilians in post-conflict environments as anti-personnel landmines but which had received far less attention from the international community. Since then, there has been significant progress. Also in 2001, the Second Review Conference of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons set up a Group of Governmental Experts to examine the problem, and after a year of discussions the Group recommended that a new instrument be negotiated. Negotiations started in March 2003, focusing on post-conflict measures to reduce the threat to civilians, and a new instrument may be adopted by the end of 2003. The components of the Movement have played a major role in placing the issue on the agenda and the ICRC is urging governments to adopt the strongest possible provisions during their negotiations. Only a legally binding instrument containing clear rules will provide adequate protection for civilian populations. 

Efforts must continue to ensure that an effective instrument is adopted and, if this is achieved, to ensure that it is implemented. The ICRC has also called for a prohibition on the use of cluster-bomb and other submunitions in or near civilian areas. While this is not currently on the negotiating agenda, new rules are needed to protect civilians from these weapons. Since explosive remnants of war create risks for the civilian population similar to those posed by landmines, communities affected by these devices have the same need for assistance. It is therefore proposed that the Movement Strategy on Landmines apply also to activities relating to explosive remnants of war.
  

 

  1. Introduction 

 The devastating impact of landmines on civilians has been a major concern for the Movement since the early 1990s. In 2001, this concern was extended to include the human cost of explosive remnants of war (ERW). [1]  

The 1999 Council of Delegates adopted a five-year Strategy of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement on Landmines (Resolution 10), designed to promote coherent action by the components of the Movement both to alleviate the suffering of people living in mine-affected countries and to eliminate anti-personnel mines altogether. One of the core objectives of the Movement Strategy is to achieve universal adherence to and effective implementation of the rules laid down   by the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines (also known as the Ottawa Convention) and amended Protocol II to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), which, inter alia, regulates the use of landmines other than anti-personnel mines.

In 2001, in response to the widespread and preventable death and injury caused during and after armed conflict by ERW and the long-term consequences for civilian populations, and noting the forthcoming second Review Conference of the CCW (December 2001), the Council of Delegates adopted a resolution on the CCW entitled Explosive Remnants of War and Non-International Armed Conflicts (Resolution 8). Among other things, the resolution called upon the Review Conference to initiate negotiations on a new protocol to address the problems caused by ERW, and called upon States party to the Convention to reach agreement on extending the CCW's scope of application to non-international armed conflict.

In the same resolution, the Council of Delegates reaffirmed the Movement's commitment to the Movement Strategy on Landmines, and to continuing its efforts in the fields of care and rehabilitation of victims of landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO), mines and UXO awareness, and the promotion of adherence to and implementation of the relevant treaties of international humanitarian law.

The present report gives an overview of developments since the adoption of Resolutions 10 (1999) and 8 (2001). It proposes an integrated approach on the part of the Movement through extension of the Movement Strategy to 2009 and its application to activities relating to ERW. The report serves as a basis for the resolution on " Landmines and explosive remnants of war " proposed for adoption by the 2003 Council of Delegates.

 

  2. Implementation and development of treaties 

 

 2.1 The Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines  

Since the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines (the Ottawa Convention) entered into force on 1 March 1999, impressive progress has been made towards universal adherence to and implementation of the provisions banning these weapons. Of particular importance is the fact that, in countries where the rules banning the use of anti-personnel mines and providing for mine-awareness and mine-clearance programmes are being implemented, the annual number of victims claimed by anti-personnel mines has fallen sharply.

2.1.1. Universalization  

As at 24 June 2003 , there were 134 States party to the Ottawa Convention. These include most States in the Americas, Africa and Europe, as well as 45 mine-affected countries, including such heavily contaminated States as Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cambodia. Thirteen signatory States had not yet ratified the Convention. Ten new States had ratified or acceded to the Convention since the 2001 meeting of the Council of Delegates.

In numerous resolutions adopted with no dissenting votes between 1994 and 2002, the United Nations General Assembly has called on States " to intensify their efforts to contribute to the objective of the elimination of anti-personnel landmines " and emphasized " the desirability of attracting the adherence of all States to the [Ottawa ] Convention " . [2]  This reflects universal acceptance of the goal of ridding the world of anti-personnel mines. 2.1.2. Implementation   [3]  

Twice-yearly Standing Committee meetings and annual Meetings of States Parties ensure a continuous process of engagement, reporting and monitoring. States have also set up an Implementation Support Unit in Geneva to assist States in their implementation of the Convention.

 Stockpile destruction: As at 15 May 2003, more than 30 million stockpiled anti-personnel mines had been destroyed by States party to the Convention. Nearly all the States Parties which possessed stockpiled anti-personnel mines, and which were required by the Convention to have destroyed their stockpiles in 2003, have reported that they have successfully met this deadline. [4]  

 Mine clearance: Article 5 of the Ottawa Convention requires each mine-affected State Party to complete mine clearance within 10 years of the Convention’s entry into force for that State, with the first mine-clearance deadlines occurring in 2009. As at 15 May 2003, significant mine-clearance activities had taken place in most of the 45 States Parties having reported mined areas or known to be affected by mines. One such State Party (Costa Rica) reported in February 2003 that its territory was now completely cleared of mines.

In order to achieve mine clearance within the 10-year deadline required by the Convention, it will be crucial for each mine-affected State to draw up mine-clearance plans and make known what they need to implement those plans by the time of the First Review Conference in November 2004 (see below). In this connection, mine-affected States may request the assistance of, inter alia , the United Nations, specialized organizations or NGOs for the elaboration of national demining programmes. [5][6] States Parties in a position to do so are required to provide international cooperation and assistance for clearance in mine-affected States.  Victim assistance and mine awareness: Those States party to the Ottawa Convention that are in a position to do so must also provide assistance for the care, rehabilitation and social and economic reintegration of mine victims, and for mine-awareness programmes. [7]  Thus fa r, States Parties have contributed, directly or through the Movement, among other organizations, hundreds of millions of dollars to programmes of assistance for victims (also known as “survivor assistance”) and mine-awareness activities (also known as “mine risk education”). The components of the Movement's achievements in this regard are described under point 3 below.

The ICRC and National Societies in mine-affected countries have observed first-hand in the field that where the Convention's ban on the use of anti-personnel mines is being implemented and mine-clearance and mine-awareness requirements are being met, as, for example, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia and Croatia, the annual number of mine victims has fallen by two-thirds or more. These examples demonstrate that where the Convention is being complied with lives and livelihoods are being saved.

2.1.3. First Review Conference  

The First Review Conference of the Ottawa Convention is scheduled to take place from 29 November to 3 December 2004 in Nairobi, Kenya. The conference will review the operation of the Convention and take stock of the challenges ahead. It will represent a critical moment in the effort to ensure the successful implementation of the Convention and continued mobilization of governments and civil society to achieve its objectives over the following five-year period. The achievement of the Convention's core humanitarian goals within the stated deadlines will depend on the sustained availability of resources for mine action over the next six to nine years, in view of the fact that the first 10-year deadlines will fall in 2009.

It will be particularly important for all mine-affected States Parties to have developed by then their national programmes for " mine action " (i.e. mine clearance, mine awareness, and assistance for mine victims and their communities), and also for them to present their assessment of the resources that will be needed to complete their clearance and stockpile-destruction programmes within the previously mentioned deadlines. Canada and Norway have pledged to maintain high levels of mine-action funding over the years leading up to the first mine-clearance deadlines, and other States are expected to renew their commitment to mobilizing resources for mine action during the Review Conference.

 2.2 The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons  

2.2.1. Explosive remnants of war (ERW)  

There has been significant progress since the 2001 Council of Delegates in efforts to address the post-conflict threat to civilians posed by ERW. The Second Review Conference of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, held on 11 to 21 December 2001, set up a Group of Governmental Experts to examine the ERW problem and to consider proposals intended to reduce the impact of these devices on civilian populations. Following a year of work and wide agreement that ERW constitute a serious humanitarian problem, the Group recommended that a new instrument on explosive remnants be negotiated. States Parties subsequently adopted this recommendation and negotiating sessions were held in March and June 2003, with a final session scheduled for November 2003.

The negotiations have focused on ways of minimizing the risks created by ERW after the end of active hostilities. The primary measures proposed in this area are:

· measures requiring parties to a conflict to clear ERW;

· the provision of technical information on the explosive ordnance used to organizations involved in ERW clearance (United Nations, international and non-governmental organizations); and

· the issuing of warnings about the dangers of these weapons to civilians living in ERW-affected areas.

Many States Parties and organizations believe that a new instrument can be adopted by the end of 2003. States Parties will convene on 27 and 28 November to review the work of the Group of Governmental Experts and it is possible that a new instrument will be adopted at that time. However, if negotiations are not completed, it is essential that the Group continue its work in 2004.

As well as conducting negotiations on an ERW instrument, the Group of Governmental Experts is working on: (1) technical measures to prevent specific munitions such as cluster-bomb submunitions from becoming ERW; and (2) a proposal to strengthen the rules on anti-vehicle mines. Proposals for new protocols in these areas were made at the 2001 Review Conference, but no agreement has yet been reached on developing new instruments. Apart from the main negotiations, the Group is also continuing discussions on measures that may be taken during a conflict to reduce the impact of cluster-bomb and other submunitions. These include the ICRC’s proposal for a prohibition on the use of submunitions against any military target located in a civilian area. In view of the particular risk to civilians associated with the use of such weapons, this would strengthen the existing obligations and restrictions contained in Article 51 of 1977 Additional Protocol I. While these issues are not currently the subject of negotiations, new rules are nonetheless urgently needed to reduce the impact of submunitions on civilian populations.

2.2.2. Extension of the Convention's scope of application to non-international armed conflict  

The Second Review Conference of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons also agreed to extend the Convention's scope of application to non-international armed conflict. This was a major development of internationa l humanitarian law which will ensure that the prohibition on non-detectable fragments (Protocol I) and blinding laser weapons (Protocol IV) and the restrictions on incendiary weapons (Protocol III) are applicable to the types of conflict occurring most frequently today. Previously, only the regulations in Protocol II on landmines, booby-traps and other devices applied to non-international conflicts, as a result of amendments adopted by States Parties in 1996.

Twenty States must ratify the amendment to Article 1 of the Convention for the new scope of application to enter into force. As at 15 May 2003, 11 States Parties had taken this important step. All components of the Movement have an important role to play in ensuring the widespread ratification of this extension of the Convention to the types of conflict most prevalent today.

 

  3. Movement strategy 

 

The following section provides a brief overview of activities undertaken to implement the core elements of the Movement Strategy on Landmines since the last report on the matter to the Council of Delegates in 2001.

 3.1 Promoting international standards  

    
 

  Aim: To achieve universal adherence to and effective implementation of the norms established by the Ottawa Treaty and amended Protocol II to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. (Movement Strategy on Landmines, Core Elements of the Strategy)  

 

3.1.1. Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines (Ottawa Convention)  

During the period under review, the ICRC and National Societies have hosted or participated in a large number of national and regional meetings held to promote ratification and implementation of the Ottawa Convention. [8]  

The ICRC continues to promote the application of the Convention in a manner consistent with the instrument’s object and purpose and its negotiating history. With respect in particular to the definition of anti-personnel mines in Article 2 of the Convention, the ICRC has continued to express its conviction that anti-vehicle mines with sensitive fuses or sensitive anti-handling devices which could be detonated by the presence, proximity or contact of a person are prohibited by the Convention. Many States Parties take this position, while a small number have publicly stated that they do not share this view.

Through its dissemination and training programmes on international humanitarian law for armed and security forces around the world, the ICRC promotes better understanding of the mine ban norm. In particular, in States not yet party to the Ottawa Convention, the ICRC continues to draw attention to the limited military utility of these weapons, on the basis of its study entitled " Anti-personnel Landmines: Friend or Foe? " .

In cooperation with a number of National Societies, the ICRC continues to provide numerous countries around the globe with legal support and advice on ratification procedures and the drafting, adoption and amendment of nati onal legislation to punish war crimes and other violations of international humanitarian law, including the Ottawa Convention and the CCW.

In late 2002, the ICRC developed model legislation for implementing the Ottawa Convention in common-law States. The ICRC's Information kit on the development of national legislation to implement the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines continues to be a useful tool for all States preparing their national implementing legislation.

To ensure the success of its efforts and to promote a general understanding of the Ottawa Convention, the ICRC also continues to make available a wide range of documentation and videos on the Ottawa Convention, and organizes travelling exhibitions on the Convention in English and Arabic. [9]  

Through its activities and sustained commitment, all the components of the Movement can claim considerable credit for the increase in the number of States party to the Ottawa Convention from 124 in 2001 to 134 today, for the continued high level of commitment to its implementation, and for the adoption of national legislation by many States.

3.1.2. Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons  

The ICRC has been one of the lead organizations working on the issue of ERW and participating in the negotiations conducted by the Group of Governmental Experts on a new CCW instrument to address this problem. It has submitted to the Group a number of official working papers on humanitarian and legal matters relating to ERW which have had a significant impact on the negotiations. An ICRC report on the effects of anti-vehicle mines on civilian populations and on humanitarian assistance was widely cited by governments working on this topic within the Group. National S ocieties have also played a significant role in the progress made towards persuading governments to begin negotiations on ERW.

Throughout 2002 and 2003, National Societies and ICRC delegations have been actively encouraging States Parties to adhere to the amendment to Article 1 of the CCW. Many have also used the adoption of the amendment as a means of encouraging States not yet party to the CCW to adhere to the instrument as soon as possible.

To assist in these efforts, the ICRC distributed to all National Societies a series of briefing papers explaining the results of the 2001 Review Conference and the progress made within the Group of Governmental Experts. It also published the full and up-to-date text of the CCW in booklet form to increase awareness and understanding of the amendments made to the Convention in recent years. A new " ratification kit " for the CCW was produced in early 2001. In mid-2003, the ICRC produced a brochure on ERW, describing their devastating humanitarian effects and the ongoing diplomatic initiatives aimed at developing new norms to prevent or limit those effects.

 3.2 Raising awareness of mines and other explosive remnants of war  

  

  Aim: To reduce civilian casualties in mine-contaminated areas through community-based education programmes about mine risks. (Movement Strategy on Landmines, Core Elements of the Strategy)  

 

Mine- and ERW-awareness activities (also referred to as mine/ERW-risk education) are an essential means of preventing mine/ERW-rela ted deaths and injuries among the civilian population in affected countries. In engaging in mine/ERW awareness, the components of the Movement seek to:

  • work with the community to identify its needs and develop a mine-awareness strategy tailored to the local situation;

  • analyse the causes of risk-taking, identify and promote alternative solutions and support communities in changing high-risk behaviour as a means of ultimately reducing the number of casualties and the socio-economic impact of mines/ERW;

  • respond to community needs through the sharing of information with humanitarian agencies and others involved in mine action as part of an integrated response to the mine/ERW problem.

Within the framework of the Movement's mine-awareness activities, the focus has gradually expanded to include other weapons-related dangers posing a risk to civilians after a conflict. Thus the components of the Movement have built on their worldwide experience in raising awareness of the dangers of mines and unexploded ordnance to develop, where appropriate, awareness programmes for other remnants of war, including abandoned ammunition stores, and, to a more limited extent, the large quantities of military-style small arms and light weapons often left in civilian hands after a conflict.

Since the 2001 Council of Delegates, the ICRC, in close cooperation with the National Societies, has gradually refined its strategy so as to focus more closely on the specific needs of the populations at risk, thus increasing the impact of the Movement’s mine/ERW-awareness activities. In this regard, emphasis has been placed on learning from and sharing of experience, and on consolidating the Movement’s approach through the development of the " Safer Village Plan " .

Reference documents and supporting tools have been produced through a consultative process. These include the Mine/ERW Awareness Guidelines: A Proposal for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, prepared by the ICRC in 2003, and the Safer Villages video, produced in 2002. Other materials are also under preparation, including a " How To " manual and a training manual.

As of January 2003, the ICRC is conducting programmes directly or through the National Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies in Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the northern Caucasus region of the Russian Federation (including Chechnya and Dagestan), Croatia, Ethiopia, Serbia and Montenegro (southern Serbia and Kosovo), the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iraq, Lebanon, Nicaragua, the occupied and autonomous Palestinian territories, Peru, Tajikistan and the region of Nagorny Karabakh . In Georgia/Abkhazia, the ICRC has organized training sessions and workshops to support the mine/UXO-awareness activities of the HALO Trust. Assessment missions have been conducted in Colombia, Eritrea, Jordan, Namibia, Peru, Myanmar, Syria and Uzbekistan to support the work of National Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies implementing mine/UXO-awareness programmes. In February 2000, the programme in Azerbaijan was handed over to the national authorities responsible for mine action.

It should be noted that while the overall mine-awareness approach contained in the Movement Strategy remains valid, there have been technical developments as well as changes in practice and terminology that need to be taken into account by staff working in the field. Details are available from the ICRC and reflected in the above-mentioned Mine/ERW Awareness Guidelines: A Proposal for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement . The document is also presented to this Council of Delegates for information.

 3.3 Protection  

  

  Aim: To remind parties to armed conflicts of their responsibility to comply with humanitarian law as regards landmines, and of the humanitarian consequences of the use of mines. (Movement Strategy on Landmines, Core Elements of the Strategy)  

 

As guardian of international humanitarian law, the ICRC reminds all parties to armed conflict of their obligations regarding the conduct of hostilities. When a party to an armed conflict is a State party to the Ottawa Convention and/or to the CCW, the ICRC also refers to the prohibition on the use of anti-personnel mines and/or to the rules governing mines, booby- traps and other devices laid down in amended Protocol II to the CCW. Furthermore, in dissemination sessions for armed forces and others bearing weapons, the ICRC raises the question of the limited military utility of anti-personnel mines in relation to their high human cost.

Where appropriate, the ICRC makes confidential oral or written representations to local, national and regional authorities (military and civilian) and to other parties to a conflict who are responsible for any given area where mines pose a threat to civilians. One of the main difficulties in making representations to the warring parties is the lack of reliable data on mine incidents and the difficulty of identifying the party responsible for violations of humanitarian law. In the period under review, the ICRC has made a number of oral and written representations concerning States Parties'compliance with the obligatio ns contained in the Ottawa Convention and in the CCW.

 3.4 Care and assistance  

  

  Aim: To ensure that mine victims have equal and impartial access to proper care and assistance. (Movement Strategy on Landmines, Core Elements of the Strategy)  

 

The principles of the Movement, as well as medical ethics, require that all victims receive equal access to care and assistance, regardless of the cause of their injury. The Movement's care and assistance activities therefore focus on establishing or restoring the overall health-care system so as to ensure adequate care for mine/ERW victims as well as other injured or disabled people. The components of the Movement have made great efforts to communicate its policy of non-discrimination among victims and to ensure that it is applied.

Numerous National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are actively engaged in care and assistance activities, by running their own programmes, contributing financial and human resources to ICRC programmes, or through bilateral projects.

In the past five years, through the provision of assistance to hospitals and surgical facilities for the war-wounded and the training of health personnel to treat war wounds, about 10 per cent of the ICRC's surgical, medical and hospital assistance activities worldwide have benefited mine/ERW victims. In addition to first-aid supplies and material, the ICRC has in the same period provided regular surgical and medical assistance to on average 100 hospitals in approximately 20 co untries per year, and on an ad hoc basis to between 100 and 150 others.

In terms of physical rehabilitation, since 1979, the ICRC has established 74 projects for war victims in 32 countries. [10]  Since 2001, the ICRC has assisted new physical rehabilitation projects in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Myanmar, Azerbaijan, Sierra Leone, Algeria, Yemen, Namibia, North Korea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Albania, and the Russian Federation, and has completed its assistance programme in Uganda. The ICRC is hoping to start additional prosthetic/orthotic activities in China, Yemen and Zambia in 2003. Over the past five years, at least 60% of the ICRC's prosthetic activities have directly benefited landmine/ERW victims.

After their handover to other partners, most programmes are monitored by and continue to receive assistance on a smaller scale from the ICRC's Special Fund for the Disabled (SFD). The SFD has two objectives: to ensure the continuity of ICRC projects for the war-disabled in countries where the ICRC's mandate has ceased to apply; and to assist the disabled in low-income countries by making available to those countries the limb-fitting techniques which have been developed for the war-disabled. Currently the SFD, through its three regional programmes in Ethiopia, Vietnam and Nicaragua, support projects in some 25 countries.

 3.5 Mine clearance   
 

  Aim: To cooperate with mine-clearance organizations according to humanitarian priorities, by developing mine-awareness activities and providing medical assistance to clearance teams, in accordance with the Guidelines on Red Cross/Red Crescent involvement in mine clearance activities, adopted at the 1997 session of the Council of Delegates. (Movement's Strategy on Landmines, Core Elements of the Strategy)  

 

According to the 1997 Guidelines on Red Cross/Red Crescent involvement in mine-clearance activities , while components of the Movement should not themselves become involved in demining activities, they may encourage governments to provide resources for the clearance of mines and ERW. They may also encourage the relevant authorities or clearance organizations to conduct demining operations in accordance with humanitarian criteria, including the initial marking of all minefields and the selection of priority areas according to the needs of affected communities. Through its community-based mine/ERW-awareness programmes carried out in contaminated areas, ICRC/National Society teams collect information on the need for surveys, clearance and marking of mined or dangerous sites. Requests from the communities concerned are channelled to organizations involved in the clearance of mines and ERW.

 

  4. The Challenges ahead 

 

4.1 Landmines  

Notwithstanding the achievements of the Ottawa Convention, anti-personnel mines remain a major menace and continue to cause untold suffering among civilian populations in many parts of the world. It is imperative to ensure universal adherence to and compliance with the treaty's provisions. States parties must fully meet th eir obligations by undertaking mine clearance, destroying their stockpiles within the deadlines set, and providing aid for landmine survivors. They must also adopt legislation providing for the punishment of those who flout the treaty's provisions. Only through such determined and comprehensive action will the " global epidemic of landmine injuries " be eliminated.

The period between the First Review Conference of the Ottawa Convention in 2004 and the arrival of deadlines for clearance of many States in 2009 (a date which coincides with the Second Review Conference) will be crucial in the effort to ensure that the promises made by the Convention to affected communities are fulfilled. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement was instrumental in efforts to stigmatize the use of anti-personnel mines and to ensure the successful negotiation of the Ottawa Convention. In 2003 it must strengthen its own commitment to ensuring that the Convention meets all the expectations it raised among mine-affected communities by mobilizing political will and resources before, during and after the 2004 Review Conference. This will require continued mobilization of resources within the Movement and mobilization of governments by the Movement's components. Enhanced implementation of all elements of the Movement Strategy on Landmines will be essential. As a token of this continuing commitment, it is proposed that the Movement Strategy on Landmines be extended to 2009, the year of the first mine-clearance deadlines under the Ottawa Convention and of the Second Review Conference of the Ottawa Convention.

 4.2 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons  

The negotiation of a new agreement on ERW and the extension of the CCW's scope of application are important developments in which the components of the Movement have played a major role. They aim to strengthen international humanitari an law and increase protection for civilians in armed conflict. Yet there are a number of challenges that still have to be met if these developments are to have an impact on the ground.

4.2.1. Explosive remnants of war  

The international community must ensure that an ERW instrument contains firm obligations which, when implemented, produce tangible results in war-affected areas. In addition, an ERW instrument must be legally binding on all parties to the conflict. There are indications that some States Parties may prefer the adoption of a political or declaratory instrument on ERW rather than a legally binding CCW protocol. Should this be the case, the instrument would not have to be ratified, could easily be forgotten in a few years, and would risk having only a limited effect. A political or declaratory instrument would also be an unfortunate precedent for the CCW, as until now all negotiations have resulted in new protocols and legal obligations for States Parties.

The negotiations currently under way will determine whether a positive result can be achieved in 2003. It is possible that the negotiations will produce an effective and legally binding protocol by the end of the year. If this is not the case, the Movement will need to reconsider its position on the basis of the results achieved by the time of the 2003 Council of Delegates.

4.2.2. Extension of the Convention's scope of application to non-international armed conflict  

The amendment to Article 1 of the CCW is a significant extension of international humanitarian law. Yet, if it is to afford protection to soldiers and civilians in all situations of armed conflict, it must be universally ratified. All States Parties must be encouraged to adhere to the amendment if they have not already done so. Universalization of the CCW itself an d all its Protocols is also essential, and States that are not yet party should also be encouraged to adhere to the Convention, its amended scope of application and all its Protocols as soon as possible. As in the past, every component of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has an important part to play in achieving these results. 

  5. Conclusion 

 

Civilian casualties in war are always tragic. The maiming and killing of civilians after conflicts, by weapons that no longer serve any military purpose, is both unacceptable and preventable. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has played a key role in successful efforts to address the scourge of landmines. The same moral conviction, resources for prevention and care in the field, and setting of standards in the context of international humanitarian law must now be brought to bear on other types of unexploded or abandoned munitions. The next five or six years will be crucial both in the effort to ensure that all the promises of the Ottawa Convention are fulfilled and that an effective international regime is established to prevent and address the human suffering inflicted by other explosive remnants of war. 

Resolution 

 

The Council of Delegates,

 welcoming the report of the ICRC on the follow-up to Resolution 8 of 2001 concerning the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons ( CCW) and to Resolution 10 of 1999 adopting the Movement Strategy on Landmines,

 remaining  alarmed about the widespread and preventable death and injury caused during and after armed conflict by landmines and explosive remnants of war, which no longer serve any military purpose, and their devastating long-term consequences for civilians,

 noting that the similar effects on civilian populations of landmines and of explosive remnants of war call for similar humanitarian responses, including the establishment of legal norms, the raising of awareness in affected communities of the dangers posed by these devices, the provision of care and assistance for victims, and measures to facilitate mine clearance,

 expressing satisfaction at the significant progress in anti-personnel mine destruction, awareness and clearance made since the entry into force in 1999 of the Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Mines (the Ottawa Convention), and recalling the instrumental role of the components of the Movement in achieving that progress,

 stressing the need to achieve universal adherence to the Ottawa Convention and the importance of continued efforts by the components of the Movement to promote this objective,

 emphasizing that the period between the First Review Conference of the Ottawa Convention in 2004 and the mine-clearance deadlines occurring for many States Parties in 2009 will be crucial in the effort to ensure that the promises made by the Convention to mine-affected communities are fulfilled,

 expressing satisfaction with the results of the 2001 Review Conference of States Parties to the CCW, which extended the Convention's scope of application to non-international armed conflict, led to negotiations on explosive remnants of war and commissioned further work on anti-vehicle mines,

 noting the progress made by States party to the CCW in negotiations to conclude a new protocol on explosive remnants of war,

or [11]  welcoming the conclusion of a new Protocol on explosive remnants of war,

1. extends the Movement Strategy on Landmines through 2009 and extends the activities listed therein to cover all explosive remnants of war;

2. calls on all components of the Movement to mobilize their members and staff, civil society, the media and governments to ensure, by the 2004 Ottawa Convention Review Conference, commitment to the full implementation of the Ottawa Convention at the highest political levels, in particular through increased efforts to achieve mine clearance by the 10-year deadlines beginning in 2009 and the mobilization of adequate resources to ensure that all the Convention's objectives are met;

3.  [12]  commits all components of the Movement to efforts to ensure that States party to the CCW adhere to the new Protocol on explosive remnants of war, and that States which are not yet party adhere to the Convention, to all its Protocols and to the amendment adopted in 2001 extending its scope to non-international armed conflicts; [if Protocol has been adopted ]

 or commits all components of the Movement to enhanced efforts to ensure that States party to the CCW adopt an effective and legally binding protocol on explosive remnants of war in 2004, and that States which are not yet party adhere to the Convention, to all its Protocols and to the amendment adopted in 2001 extending its scope to non-international armed conflicts; [if negotiations continue ]

 or commits all components of the Movement to enhanced efforts to ensure that an effective international regime is established to prevent and address the human suffering inflicted by explosive remnants of war, and that States which are not yet party to the CCW adhere to the Convention, to all its Protocols and to the amendment adopted in 2001 extending its scope to non-international armed conflicts; [if Protocol has been adopted, but with unsatisfactory result ]

4. commits all components of the Movement to working to ensure that States take effective measures to reduce the likelihood that ordnance will become explosive remnants of war, and to put an end to the use of cluster-bomb and other submunitions against military objectives located in or near civilian areas;

5. requests the ICRC to report to the 2005 Council of Delegates on the progress made in implementing the Movement Strategy on Landmines, and on explosive remnants of war and the extension of the scope of application of the CCW.

 

  Notes 

 

1. This term describes a wide range of explosive (unexploded or abandoned) muni tions which remain in area after a conflict is over. These include artillery shells, grenades, mortar bombs, cluster-bomb and other submunitions, rockets and missiles. 

2. See General Assembly resolutions 51/45S (1996), 52/38A (1997), 53/77N (1999), 54/54B (2000), 53/33V (2001), 56/24 (2001), 57/74 (2002).

3. The data in this section is based on publicly available information provided by States Parties in their annual reports to the United Nations Secretariat in accordance with Article 7 of the Ottawa Convention, by the Implementation Support Unit established by the Meeting of the States party to the Ottawa Convention (www.gichd.ch/mbc/isu), and by the Landmine Monitor.

4. Article 4 of the Ottawa Convention requires each State Party to destroy its stockpiled anti-personnel mines within four years of the Convention’s entry into force for that State Party.

5. See Article 6(7) of the Ottawa Convention.

6. Article 6(4) of the Ottawa Convention states: " Each State Party in a position to do so shall provide assistance for mine clearance and related activities. Such assistance may be provided, inter alia , through the United Nations system, international or regional organizations or institutions, non-governmental organizations or institutions, or on a bilateral basis, or by contributing to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Clearance, or other regional funds that deal with demining " .

7. See Article 6(3) of the Ottawa Convention.

8. These include seminars and workshops in Abuja (October 2001), Tunis (January 2002), Bangkok (May 2002), Kinshasa (M ay 2002), Kabul (August 2002), Oslo (September 2002), Yerevan (October 2002), Moscow (November 2002), Pretoria (June 2002 and June 2003), Kiev (February 2003), and Brazzaville (May 2003). The ICRC and some National Societies have also played an active role in the annual Meetings of States Parties to the Ottawa Convention (Geneva in 2002, Bangkok in 2003) and in the twice-yearly meetings of the Standing Committees set up under the Convention.

9. The ICRC and National Societies mounted such exhibitions in Australia (March 2002), Malaysia (March-April 2002), Thailand (May 2002), the Russian Federation (November 2002), Poland (March 2003) and Ukraine (February 2003). More generally, National Societies organized a variety of activities to raise awareness among young people and/or the general public of the problem of anti-personnel mines.

10. Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Pakistan, Chad, Eritrea, Lebanon, Syria, Nicaragua, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Uganda, Vietnam, Cambodia, Colombia, Kenya, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iraq, Rwanda, Tajikistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Algeria, Yemen, Namibia, North Korea, Albania and Russia.

11. According to the progress made in the negotiations, one of the possibilities will be selected.

12. As above, one of the possibilities will be selected depending on the progress of the negotiations.

CD 2 003 - 8.3/1

Original: English