The Banning of Anti-Personnel Landmines: The Legal Contribution of the International Committee of the Red Cross

By Louis Maresca; Stuart Maslen | Go to book overview

23
The First Meeting of States Parties to the Ottawa Treaty
Maputo, Mozambique
3–7 May 1999

With the historic entry into force of the Ottawa treaty in March 1999, there was considerable support to convene a meeting of States Parties and begin immediate consultations on converting the treaty's obligations into action on the ground. The First Meeting of States Parties (FMSP), held only two months after entry into force, focused on the implementation of the Ottawa treaty and adopted several important mechanisms to facilitate this. Firstly, the meeting adopted the 'Maputo Declaration', which reaffirms the commitment of States Parties to the total elimination of anti-personnel mines, thus pledging themselves to universalize the treaty and eradicate the human suffering the weapons cause. In very clear terms, the Declaration condemns the continued use of mines and calls upon all States to adhere to and implement the Ottawa treaty and intensify their efforts to rid the world of these weapons and help mine victims and mine-affected communities.

To assist States in fulfilling their obligation under Article 7 of the treaty, whereby States Parties must submit annual reports on mine-related issues to the UN Secretary-General, the FMSP approved a reporting format to ensure that such reports were standardized and comprehensive. States Parties also established a structure to continue dialogue and consultation on mine-action issues between the annual meetings of States Parties. Five Standing Committees of Experts (SCEs) were created to ensure that the goals of the treaty were accomplished in an efficient and coordinated manner. SCEs were created to deal with issues related to mine clearance, victim assistance, stockpile destruction, technologies for mine action and general status and operation of the treaty.

The FMSP was attended by representatives of 108 States and a large number of international, regional and non-governmental organizations. Of those States participating, 59 had ratified the treaty and 36 were signatories.

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