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– Lord Des Browne
Vice Chairman, Nuclear Threat Initiative
The Ottawa Convention: Signatories and Ratifiers
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On March 1, six months after its ratification by the 40th state, the Ottawa Convention banning the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines (APLs) will enter into force. Sixty-seven states out of 135 signatories have now ratified or acceded to the treaty. European countries account for nearly one-third of the ratifications, while 16 African and 15 Latin American and Caribbean states have ratified the treaty.

By September 1999 and annually thereafter, the first 40 states to have ratified the treaty (shown below in bold) must report to the UN Secretary-General their total APL stockpiles, the technical characteristics of their APLs, the location of all mined areas and the status of APL destruction programs. For all other states that ratify, the treaty will become legally binding six months after ratification or accession. State-parties will have four years to destroy all stockpiled APLs and ten years to eliminate all APLs, including those currently planted. Countries, however, may request a renewable ten-year extension to complete the task.

The treaty will enter into force without signature by some major producers and users of landmines, including the United States, China and Russia. Washington pledged to sign in 2006 if it can identify and field "suitable alternatives" to replace its APLs and mixed systems (combination of anti-tank and anti-personnel landmines). At the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, the United States and other nations are seeking to negotiate a transfer ban on the import and export of APLs, but the 61 members have thus far failed to reach consensus on starting the negotiations.

The U.S. State Department, in its 1998 report, Hidden Killers, estimates that more than 70 countries are plagued with a total of 60 million to 70 million landmines, while some mine clearance groups contend that the number is significantly lower. The International Committee of the Red Cross estimates that 26,000 people are killed or injured by APLs every year. —For more information, contact Wade Boese.


Country Signature Ratification/
Accession
Albania 9/8/98  
Algeria 12/3/97  
Andorra 12/3/97 6/29/98
Angola 12/4/97  
Antigua & Barbuda 12/3/97  
Argentina 12/4/97  
Australia 12/3/97 1/14/99
Austria 12/3/97 6/29/98
Bahamas 12/3/97 7/31/98
Bangladesh 5/7/98  
Barbados 12/3/97 1/26/99
Belgium 12/3/97 9/4/98
Country Signature Ratification/
Accession
Belize 2/27/98 4/23/98
Benin 12/3/97 9/25/98
Bolivia 12/3/97 6/9/98
Bosnia & Herzegovina 12/3/97 9/8/98
Botswana 12/3/97  
Brazil 12/3/97  
Brunei Darussalam 12/4/97  
Bulgaria 12/3/97 9/4/98
Burkina Faso 12/3/97 9/16/98
Burundi 12/3/97  
Cambodia 12/3/97  
Cameroon 12/3/97  
Canada 12/3/97 12/3/97
Cape Verde 12/4/97  
Chad 7/6/98  
Chile 12/3/97  
Colombia 12/3/97  
Cook Islands 12/3/97  
Costa Rica 12/3/97  
Cote d'Ivoire 12/3/97  
Croatia 12/4/97 5/20/98
Cyprus 12/4/97  
Czech Republic 12/3/97  
Denmark 12/4/97 6/8/98
Djibouti 12/3/97 5/18/98
Dominica 12/3/97  
Dominican Republic 12/3/97  
Ecuador 12/4/97  
El Salvador 12/4/97 1/27/99
Equatorial Guinea 9/16/98 9/16/98
Country Signature Ratification/
Accession
Ethiopia 12/3/97  
Fiji 12/3/97 6/10/98
France 12/3/97 7/23/98
Gabon 12/3/97  
Gambia 12/4/97  
Germany 12/3/97 7/23/98
Ghana 12/4/97  
Greece 12/3/97  
Grenada 12/3/97 8/19/98
Guatemala 12/3/97  
Guinea 12/4/97 10/8/98
Guinea-Bissau 12/3/97  
Guyana 12/4/97  
Haiti 12/3/97  
Holy See 12/4/97 2/17/98
Honduras 12/3/97 12/3/97
Hungary 12/3/97 4/6/98
Iceland 12/4/97  
Indonesia 12/4/97  
Ireland 12/3/97 12/3/97
Italy 12/3/97  
Jamaica 12/3/97 7/17/98
Japan 12/3/97 9/30/98
Jordan 8/11/98 11/13/98
Kenya 12/5/97  
Lesotho 12/4/97 12/2/98
Liechtenstein 12/3/97  
Lithuania 2/26/99  
Luxembourg 12/4/97  
Country Signature Ratification/
Accession
Macedonia, FYR 9/9/98 9/9/98
Madagascar 12/4/97  
Malaysia 12/3/97  
Malawi 12/4/97 8/13/98
Maldives 10/1/98  
Mali 12/3/97 6/2/98
Malta 12/4/97  
Marshall Islands 12/4/97  
Mauritania 12/3/97  
Mauritius 12/3/97 12/3/97
Mexico 12/3/97 6/9/98
Moldova 12/3/97  
Monaco 12/4/97 11/17/98
Mozambique 12/3/97 8/15/98
Namibia 12/3/97 9/15/98
Netherlands 12/3/97  
New Zealand 12/3/97 1/27/99
Nicaragua 12/4/97 11/30/98
Niger 12/4/97  
Niue 12/3/97 4/15/98
Norway 12/3/97 7/9/98
Panama 12/4/97 10/7/98
Paraguay 12/3/97 11/13/98
Peru 12/03/97 6/17/98
Philippines 12/3/97  
Poland 12/4/97  
Portugal 12/3/97 2/19/99
Qatar 12/4/97 10/13/98
Romania 12/3/97  
Rwanda 12/3/97  
Country Signature Ratification/
Accession
St. Kitts & Nevis 12/3/97 12/2/98
St. Lucia 12/3/97  
St. Vincent &

the Grenadines

12/3/97  
Samoa 12/3/97 7/23/98
San Marino 12/3/97 3/18/98
Sao Tome & Principe 4/30/98  
Senegal 12/3/97 9/24/98
Seychelles 12/4/97  
Sierra Leone 7/29/98  
Slovakia 12/3/97 2/25/99
Slovenia 12/3/97 10/27/98
Solomon Islands 12/4/97 1/26/99
South Africa 12/3/97 6/26/98
Spain 12/3/97 1/19/99
Sudan 12/4/97  
Suriname 12/4/97  
Swaziland 12/4/97 12/23/98
Sweden 12/4/97 11/30/98
Switzerland 12/3/97 3/24/98
Tanzania 12/3/97  
Thailand 12/3/97 11/27/98
Togo 12/4/97  
Trinidad & Tobago 12/4/97 4/27/98
Tunisia 12/4/97  
Turkmenistan 12/3/97 1/19/98
Uganda 12/3/97 2/25/99
Ukraine 2/24/99  
United Kingdom 12/3/97 7/31/98
Uruguay 12/3/97  
Country Signature Ratification/
Accession
Vanuatu 12/4/97  
Venezuela 12/3/97  
Yemen 12/4/97 9/1/98
Zambia 12/12/97  
Zimbabwe 12/3/97 6/18/98