of their task, must regard it as a contribution to peace and an urgent appeal to those capable of achieving it.
Conventions and Institutions
by Yves Sandoz
Published in Clearing the Fields: Solutions to the Global Land Mines Crisis
Kevin M. Cahill, ed., 1995
Reproduced with permission of Perseus Books
The use of anti-personnel mines has reached proportions that take the issue beyond purely humanitarian concerns. The problem's economic and social implications, as well as its impact on the environment and its effects on population movements in particular, give it a universal dimension.
Different actors must address the problem at different levels, pursuing a variety of aims, with local or worldwide objectives, in the short or the long term. But the key word for all these efforts is complementarity: they should not compete with each other, but be designed to be mutually supportive.
To overcome the current crisis, the emphasis must be placed on preventive action. This will involve compliance with clear, effective, and universally accepted rules, which must be drawn up without delay. Two main levels of preventive action may be identified: the prevention of wars (jus ad bellum) and the prevention of abuses during wars (jus in bello). The reasoning applied to each is different, but the two must not be regarded as contradictory. A third level comes between these two and has a bearing on both of them: disarmament and arms control.
One cannot disregard the fact that, whatever the circumstances, wars cause immeasurable suffering, and that the need for an international mechanism capable of imposing a ban on the use of force between States and of preventing, as far as possible, recourse to force within states is becoming ever more pressing.