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Action against antipersonnel mines



The member states of the Organization of American States have adopted the goal of global elimination of antipersonnel land mines to convert the Western Hemisphere into an antipersonnel-land-mine-free zone. As regards the mine-clearing programs, in 1992, the Organization created the Mine-Clearing Program in Central America (PADCA) in response to a request by the Central American states (Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua) affected by the presence of antipersonnel land mines. Lately, in response to requests from Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru this Program was converted into the Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA) to support a broad range of activities and operating under a number of General Assembly mandates.

The overall program coordination is handled by the Department of Multidimensional Security of the OAS General Secretariat (Office of Humanitarian Mine Action), which also seeks financial contributions from the international community. The Inter-American Defense Board (IADB) provides technical assistance through international monitors or supervisors in countries in the affected zones.

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States, through its Committee on Hemispheric Security with support from the above mentioned Offices of the General Secretariat, and as a confidence- and security-building measure, implement a complete and integrated register of antipersonnel land mines based on the information provided each year by member states on the approximate number of antipersonnel land mines in their stockpiles, the number of antipersonnel land mines that have been removed during the past year, plans for clearance of the remaining land mines, and any other pertinent information.

The Organization of American States, through AG/RES. 1794 (XXXI-O/01), urges the member states that have not yet signed or ratified the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (Ottawa Convention) to consider doing at the earliest possible date. Those that have already signed the Convention are called upon to report to the General Secretariat on the status of their ratification process.

The Ottawa Convention entered into force on March 1, 1999.  To date, 33 OAS member states have signed the Convention and 30 have ratified it. The Ottawa Treaty is maintained and updated by the organization SafeLane Passage of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada.


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