Opening of the Fourth Review of the Convention on the Prevention of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction | © HI
22 years after the entry into force of the Treaty, the Fourth Review of the Convention on the Prevention of the Use, Stockpiling, Production, and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction has started this Monday in Oslo and will last until the 29th of November.
More than 700 delegates from, State parties, civil society organizations, INGOs and mine survivors, are gathered for this review with the goal of achieving the “Mine Free world by 2025”. The review conference should result in the adoption of the Oslo Action Plan 2020-2024.
The Landmine Monitor 2019, released on November 21, revealed a fourth consecutive year of exceptionally high casualties caused by landmines, particularly explosive remnants (ERW) and improvised mines (6,897 in 2018, 7,253 in 2017, 9,439 in 2016 and 6,971 in 2015). In 2014, the Monitor recorded an average of about 10 casualties per day; in 2018, the rate nearly double to just below 20 casualties per day. Numerous casualties went unrecorded due to difficulties in some areas to gather information.
The vast majority of people killed by anti-personnel mines are civilians: 71% of casualties were civilians in 2018, of whom 54% were children. The report also underlines the increasing challenge posed by the use of improvised landmines by non-state actors. In 2018, improvised mines killed or injured 3789 people, 54% of the total of new landmine victims recorded by the Monitor. The last few years also saw great improvement, namely about 140 square kilometers of land was reported to have been cleared in 2018 and over the past five years (2014–2018), total clearance of landmines among States Parties is estimated to be about 800km², with at least 661,491 landmines destroyed.
However the alarming trend of harm caused to civilians remains unacceptable and proves the importance of the universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty.
The stakes of the Conference are high. The stakeholders present will work towards the adoption of different important documents, the main one being the Oslo Action Plan for the years 2020-2024. It will also allow the renewing of the main goals of the Convention which are destroying stockpiled anti-personnel mines, clearing mined areas and, providing victim assistance.
HI is therefore mobilized, with an important delegation, to call on States to enforce international humanitarian law and to put pressure on belligerent parties to end the use of these barbaric weapons. HI is also calling on states to support mine risk education, mine clearance and victim assistance programs, which are absolutely necessary for affected countries and territories.
But a Mine Free World does not mean a Victim Free world. People critically injured, survivors, families of people killed and injured and affected communities will still require inclusive and projects on health, education, rural development, poverty reduction on the longer term, to ensure the realization of their rights and their full participation in society. Victim assistance therefore needs to be integrated in a broader humanitarian and development agenda.
During this week, HI will accompany all the actors present in order to leave no questions or issues left out.
HI team in Oslo will work together with ICBL and the LandMineFree25 Campaign to call on states to make their utmost to finish the job by 2025, meet the needs and protect the rights of victims, promote gender mainstreaming in the Treaty and the use of new technologies such as drones and 3D printers to improve humanitarian mine action.
In addition, HI organizes and co-organizes four side-events this week:
• Tuesday, 17.30-19.00 - Innovative technologies within Humanitarian Mine Action Sector: Technical presentation and discussion of the use of drones in land release and clearance and use of 3D printing in Rehabilitation
• Wednesday, 17.30 – 19.00 - Sharing Lessons Learned: Gender Mainstreaming by States Parties, With Oslo Review Conference Gender Working Group: HALO, MAG, NPA, HI, MAC, GICHD, ICBL, DCA
• Wednesday, 17.30 – 19.00 - Regional networks in the promotion of the rights of victims. The Latin American network of associations of survivors and persons with disabilities. ICBL-CMC /HI
• Thursday, 17.30 – 19.00 - Comprehensive Approach to Mine Action (CAMA) and Conflict Sensitivity, HI/Tierra de paz Fundation Colombia.