ICRC Position Paper No. 2
Landmine Negotiations: Impasse in Vienna Highlights
Urgency of National and Regional Measures
ICRC Briefing and Position Paper
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) deeply regrets that the recent Review Conference of the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) was unable to agree on new measures to prohibit or severely restrict the production, use and transfer of anti-personnel landmines. The Conference, which adjourned on 13 October after three weeks of negotiations in Vienna and nearly two years of preparation, was seen as an important element in international efforts to address the humanitarian crisis caused by landmines. This unfortunate outcome reflects both the overly technical nature of many of the proposals considered and an unwillingness on the part of many States to place significant limits on landmines to achieve the humanitarian goals of the conference.
The ICRC appeals to governments and the concerned public to ensure that humanitarian considerations are put in the centre of negotiations at the resumed sessions of the Review Conference, to be held in Geneva from 15–19 January and 22 April–3 May 1996. Furthermore, it is calling for increased efforts on the national and regional levels to ensure that humanitarian responsibilities are met even if agreement on far-reaching measures is not possible in the near future at the international level. On 22 November the ICRC, together with national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, launched for the first time in its history an international media campaign aimed at mobilizing the public conscience for the stigmatisation of anti-personnel mines.
Despite adjourning in deadlock on a number of important technical issues, the Vienna session of the Review Conference did achieve a large measure of provisional agreement on new measures which the ICRC considers important steps forward. These include: