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2004 Landmine Monitor report

23 November 2004

2004 Landmine Monitor report signals big challenges ahead as governments head to Nairobi Summit

A special edition of the annual Landmine Monitor Report (to be released in Wellington tomorrow) illustrates the significant progress made under the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty in the past five years, but signals that some of the biggest challenges lie ahead. The report will be presented to governments as they head to the Nairobi Summit on a Mine Free World (29 November-3 December).

“The progress made since the MBT entered into force five years ago is a great example of what governments can achieve when they work cooperatively to increase human security under a multi-lateral process,” said Deborah Morris-Travers, Convenor of the NZ Campaign Against Landmines.

“Use of antipersonnel landmines has fallen, funding for mine action has increased by 80 percent, huge stockpiles of mines have been destroyed, more than 1,100 square kilometres of land has been cleared, and the number of new mine victims each year has decreased markedly. However, there are big challenges remaining (see attached overview).

“There are 143 States Parties to the MBT, and another 9 governments which have signed but not yet ratified the treaty, including the Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, and Vanuatu. Other states in the Pacific have not yet signed up, including Micronesia, Palau, Tuvalu and Tonga.

“Currently, forty-two states remain outside the treaty, with a small number continuing to deploy and produce the weapon. If we are to succeed in fully eradicating landmines and the misery these indiscriminate weapons cause to civilians in 83 mine-affected countries, we need all states – big and small - to support the MBT and pursue its full implementation.

“At the Nairobi Summit (the first review conference of the MBT), governments will be urged to restate their commitment to a plan of action that will progress the full implementation of the treaty. With deadlines for mine clearance looming and large numbers of civilians, including children, continuing to be killed and maimed by mines it’s vital this important work continues,” Deborah Morris-Travers concluded.

Landmine Monitor is a global civil society initiative compiled by a network of 110 researchers in 93 countries. It monitors and reports on the implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. The 2004 report shows:

Progress under the Mine Ban Treaty (since 1999):

65 states parties have completed the destruction of more than 60 million stockpiled mines and every State Party has so far met its mandated four-year deadline for stockpile destruction.

51 states are known to have produced anti-personnel landmines in the past, the number is now 15.

Major progress has been made preventing landmines from being laid and in clearing mine fields.

Since 1999, 1,100 square kilometres of land has been cleared, destroying more than 4 million antipersonnel landmines, nearly one million anti-vehicle mines, and many more millions of pieces of unexploded ordnance. There is now consistent and reliable evidence showing that mine action is making a measurable difference in the lives of people living in mine-affected countries.

The number of reported new mine casualties has dropped significantly in some heavily mine-affected countries. In 1999, it was estimated that landmines claimed 26,000 new casualties every year; that number has dropped to between 15-20,000.

Challenges remaining:

42 states remain outside the treaty, including states such as the USA, China, Russia, most of the Middles East, many Asian states, and some of the small states in the Pacific.

In the past year, Nepal, Myanmar, Georgia and Russia have used landmines.

15 countries continue to produce, or retain the right to produce mines: Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, South Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, USA, and Vietnam.

Stockpiles of 200 million mines remain.

Every year, thousands of people are injured by landmines: 86 percent are civilians, and 23 percent are children. There are between 300-400,000 mine survivors living in at least 121 countries today. Many of these people have inadequate health and rehabilitation services.

Resources for victim assistance as a percentage of total mine action funding have decreased significantly and steadily, from 14.9 percent in 1999 to 8.3 percent in 2003.

In 13 states parties there were no mine clearance or mine risk education programmes in place, partially due to insufficient resources.

ENDS


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