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

law. Contrary to the proposal by the 26th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and agreements reached at the first session of the Review Conference in Vienna, the scope of this Protocol was not extended beyond international armed conflicts. States should, however, be encouraged to declare, when adhering to Protocol IV, that they consider the Protocol to apply under all circumstances.


Concluding remarks

Looking beyond the Review Conference, Yves Sandoz, Director of the ICRC Department for Principles, Law and Relations with the Movement, reflected in an article the organization's hopes and determination with regard to the landmine issue: 11

Taken together, the awakening of the public conscience, the beginnings of dramatic changes in State practice and authoritative questioning of anti-personnel mine use from within military circles could lead to an end to the use of these arms in large parts of the world in coming years. On that basis the next Review Conference of the 1980 Convention in 2001, or possibly another forum, could be expected to produce agreement on outlawing this indiscriminate weapon.

Though attention has recently focused on globally negotiated solutions, the landmine crisis will be ended through the insistence of the public, through decisions of States which seek to protect their population and territories from the terrible scourge of these weapons and by the decisions of individual commanders who judge their human costs unacceptable.

A global legal ban will be the result, not the cause, of such actions. It will be a victory of human compassion and solidarity. It is the only fitting response to the carnage which continues to cost the lives and livelihoods of two thousand victims each and every month. The ICRC, together with the entire Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, will tirelessly continue its efforts with both military and humanitarian organizations to ensure that anti-personnel mines are banned sooner rather than later.


NOTES
1
Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May be Deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, adopted on 10 October 1980; 59 States party (as at 30 April 1996).
2
Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices as amended on 3 May 1996 (Protocol II as amended on 3 May 1996). See text below.

-455-

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