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Towards a global ban on anti-personnel landmines

31-12-1996 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 315

 Declaration of the International Strategy Conference, Ottawa, 3-5 October 1996  

Following consultations with relevant international agencies, international organizations and non-governmental organizations, the States represented at the Ottawa Conference, the'Ottawa Group', have agreed to enhance cooperation and coordination of efforts on the basis of the following concerns and goals with respect to anti-personnel mines:

1. a recognition that the extreme humanitarian and socio-economic costs associated with the use of anti-personnel mines requires urgent action on the part of the international community to ban and eliminate this type of weapon;

2. a conviction that until such a ban is achieved, States must work to encourage universal adherence to the prohibitions or restrictions on anti-personnel mines as contained in the amended Protocol II of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons;

3. an affirmation of the need to convince mine-affected States to halt all new deployments of anti-personnel mines to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of mine-clearance operations;

4. a recognition that the international community must provide significantly greater resources to mine-awareness programs, mine-clearance operations and victim assistance;

5. a commitment to work together to ensure;

— the earliest possible conclusion of a legally-binding international agreement to ban anti-personnel mines;

— progressive reductions in new deployments of anti-personnel mines with the urgent objective of halting all new deployments of anti-personnel mines;

— support for a resolution of the 51st session of the United Nations General Assembly calling upon member States, inter alia, to implement national moratoria, bans or other restrictions, particularly on the operational use and transfer of anti-personnel mines, at the earliest possible date;

— regional and sub-regional activities in support of a global ban on anti-personnel mines, and

— a follow-on conference hosted by Belgium in 1997 to review the progress of the international community in achieving a global ban on anti-personnel mines.