United Nations General Assembly, 1996
The United Nations General Assembly had previously called for the 'eventual elimination of anti-personnel mines' but had tied such elimination to the development of more humane alternatives. At its fifty-first session, however, the General Assembly endorsed a resolution urging States 'to pursue vigorously an effective, legally binding international agreement to ban the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines with a view to completing the negotiation as soon as possible'. A total of 157 governments voted in favour of resolution 51/45S, none voted against and only 10 abstained. The United Nations Secretary-General later linked this landmark resolution to the growing momentum of the Ottawa process.
to the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly
18 October 1996
A great deal has occurred this year in relation to the regulation of both conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction. Actually, there is no such dual categorization of arms in international humanitarian law, which regulates all weapons in accordance with certain generally applicable rules in order to prevent excessive suffering and destruction. All of the work and comments of the International Committee of the Red Cross with regard to weapons, whatever their nature from a strategic standpoint, are aimed at assuring the faithful and impartial application of these rules of international humanitarian law.