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Mine Ban Treaty Special Issues of Concern (Articles 1, 2, 3) 1999-2014

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Since the inception of the Mine Ban Treaty, the ICBL has identified special issues of concern regarding interpretation and implementation of aspects of Articles 1, 2, and 3. These have included:

• what acts are permitted or not under the treaty’s ban on assistance with prohibited acts, especially in the context of joint military operations with states not party;

• foreign stockpiling and transit of antipersonnel mines;

• the applicability of the treaty to antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes or sensitive antihandling devices; and,

• the inappropriate retention of mines for training purposes.

After the treaty entered into force in 1999, States Parties regularly discussed these issues at the intersessional Standing Committee meetings and Meetings of States Parties, and many tried to reach common understandings, as urged by the ICBL and the ICRC.1 At the First Review Conference in 2004, States Parties agreed in the Nairobi Action Plan, and in the subsequent Progress Reports from the annual Meetings of States Parties, that there should be ongoing discussion and exchange of views on these matters.2 However, few states have expressed their views since the Second Review Conference in 2009, especially with respect to Articles 1 and 2.

While States Parties have not reached formal common understandings on these issues, over the years strong prevailing views and practices have emerged that are very positive. If these trends were to change, however, the ICBL considers that this would be damaging to the integrity and effectiveness of the Mine Ban Treaty.

For detailed information on States Parties’ policies and practices on these matters, see annual editions of the Landmine Monitor.