Diplomatic Conference on an International Total Ban on
1–18 September 1997
Organized by the government of Norway
The Diplomatic Conference opened in Oslo on 1 September 1997 with its work sharply focused in the international media by the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the day before its opening. The necessary political will clearly existed to ensure a successful outcome – indeed a good text (the Conference had before it the third Austrian draft treaty) was even strengthened in a number of key areas. An important factor, however, was the choice of the South African Ambassador, Jacob Selebi, to chair the Conference. His skill and dedication, supported in particular by the united voice of African governments and strong commitment of many others, ensured that compromises which would have substantially weakened the treaty were resisted. The Conference was able to adopt formally, on 18 September 1997, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction.
Geneva, 26 August 1997
CRUCIAL DECISIONS FOR OSLO CONFERENCE
On behalf of landmine victims worldwide, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is renewing its appeal to States to conclude a treaty prohibiting anti-personnel landmines at the Oslo Diplomatic Conference due to open on 1 September. More than 100 pro-ban countries are expected to be represented at the Conference, which is scheduled to last three weeks. The ICRC urges these States to stand firm in their commitment to a total ban.