ICRC Symposium on Anti-Personnel Mines
(Montreux Symposium) Montreux, Switzerland
21–23 April 1993
The Montreux Symposium was the first meeting organized by the ICRC specifically to address the issue of anti-personnel mines. It was convened in response to the increasing magnitude of suffering caused by the weapons, as witnessed in the field by ICRC delegates and other humanitarian workers. The meeting brought together experts from various disciplines with the purpose of obtaining an accurate overview of the scope of the problem and the measures and mechanisms available to limit anti-personnel mine use and to alleviate the suffering of mine victims. Participants included military strategists, mines specialists and manufacturers, legal experts, surgeons, rehabilitation specialists, and representatives of demining organizations and concerned non-governmental organizations.
The report on the Montreux Symposium became an important source of reference for the ICRC, non-governmental organizations and governments in their future activities in pursuit of a ban treaty. A copy was sent to all governments in August 1993. Reproduced below are selected chapters dealing with the humanitarian aspects of the landmine problem, as well as the table of contents of the full report.
Every year, thousands of men, women and children are victims of anti-personnel mines. The use of these often extremely pernicious weapons has resulted in a tragedy that is all the more acute in humanitarian terms as, apart from the appalling number of victims they cause, anti-personnel mines not only kill but mutilate horrendously, strike blindly at all human beings alike, and continue to spread