Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction
In November 2019, the 164 States Parties to the Convention will come together in Oslo, Norway, for its Fourth Review conference. It will be the first Review Conference since States Parties met in Mozambique in 2014, where they agreed the Maputo +15 declaration and its aspiration to complete the clearance of anti-personnel landmines by 2025.
Every Review Conference is an opportunity to take stock and set a bold agenda for the next phase of implementation. As the last Review Conference before 2025, States parties must acknowledge that most time-bound obligations for clearance of anti-personnel mines are not on track and therefore embrace the need for policy change to accelerate it. Doing so must be considered essential to the success of a Convention that changed the global approach to disarmament.
The Fourth Review Conference in Oslo is a springboard for five years of concerted effort to deliver the APMBC’s obligations, especially on Article 5. The Landmine Free 2025 campaign assesses that 60 million people still live at constant risk and fear of anti-personnel landmines. The moral case for urgent survey and clearance therefore remains as sound now as it did when the Convention was negotiated in the same city in 1997.
What is at stake in the timely implementation of Article 5 and the 2025 goal for clearance, however, extends far further. If States Parties accept that Article 5’s legal obligations and deadlines can slip indefinitely – either explicitly, or tacitly by accepting fatalism – then they threaten the Convention itself and the norms it has established.
Instead, all States Parties should be willing to identify, ‘out’ and address the obstacles to the implementation of Article 5’s time-bound obligations. This is especially true of those States Parties with their own Article 5 obligations and those taking on leadership of the Convention in the period to 2025. The Convention itself stands as strong today as it did 20 years ago, as does its legacy for disarmament as a whole. What is needed is renewed commitment, increased cooperation and assistance, focused and efficient implementation and a bold and honest policy agenda.