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Americas: Organization of American States for a continent free of anti-personnel mines

12-06-1996 News Release 96/23

The Organization of American States (OAS), which met in Panama City from 3 to 7 June for its 26th General Assembly, discussed the question of anti-personnel mines as one of the problems of concern to the Western hemisphere, and adopted a resolution providing for the establishment of a continent-wide zone free of all landmines. Secretary-General Cesar Gaviria and numerous representatives of Member States referred to the issue in their statements. The ICRC, for its part, called for a total ban on the use of this indiscriminate weapon.

The resolution urges States to declare a moratorium on the production, use and transfer of all anti-personnel mines and to ratify the 1980 United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons and its amended Protocol II. It further provides for the opening of a register at the organization's General Secretariat, to record information on existing stocks, the current mine clearance situation and follow-up activities after each session of the General Assembly.

This text is in line with a resolution recently adopted by the Central American Parliament and with the recommendations on anti-personnel mines, mine clearance and victim rehabilitation endorsed by the Managua seminar at the end of May. The OAS General Assembly also adopted its third resolution on respect for international humanitarian law.