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AG/RES. 1936 (XXXIII-O/03): The Americas As An Antipersonnel-Land-Mine-Free Zone


June 10, 2003

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(Resolution adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 10, 2003)

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

HAVING SEEN:

The Annual Report of the Permanent Council to the General Assembly (AG/doc.4156/03 add. 4), in particular the section on the matters entrusted to the Committee on Hemispheric Security; and

The report of the General Secretariat (CP/doc.3742/03) on the implementation of resolutions AG/RES. 1878 (XXXII-O/02), "Support for the Program of Integral Action against Antipersonnel Mines in Central America," and AG/RES. 1875 (XXXII-O/02), "Support for Action Against Mines in Peru and Ecuador";

RECALLING its resolutions AG/RES. 1411 (XXVI-O/96), AG/RES. 1496 (XXVII-O/97), AG/RES. 1569 (XXVIII-O/98), AG/RES. 1644 (XXIX-O/99), AG/RES. 1794 (XXXI-O/01), and AG/RES. 1889 (XXXII-O/02), "The Western Hemisphere as an Antipersonnel-Land-Mine-Free Zone," and AG/RES. 1744 (XXX-O/00), "Cooperation for Security in the Hemisphere," in which it reaffirmed the goals of the global elimination of antipersonnel land mines and the conversion of the Western Hemisphere into an antipersonnel-land-mine-free zone;

REITERATING its profound concern over the presence in the Americas of thousands of antipersonnel land mines and other undetonated explosive devices;

RECOGNIZING WITH GREAT SATISFACTION that the Government of Costa Rica declared itself mine-free in December 2002, making it the first mine-affected state in the world to do so since the signing of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (Ottawa Convention), in December 1997;

RECOGNIZING WITH SATISFACTION:

The efforts being made by all governments that currently have integral mine-action programs and, in particular, the efforts by the Governments of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru in mine-clearance and stockpile destruction, as well as the programs of those countries and in Costa Rica and El Salvador aimed at the physical and psychological rehabilitation of victims and the socioeconomic reclamation of demined areas in their countries;

That the Ottawa Convention is in force for 31 sovereign states of the region;

That the Amended Mines Protocol to the 1980 United Nations 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 is in force for 14 sovereign states of the region;

The important coordination work of the General Secretariat, through the Unit for the Promotion of Democracy's Mine Action Team, together with the technical assistance of the Inter-American Defense Board; and

The valuable contribution by member states and permanent observers to, and the support of the Committee on Hemispheric Security for, the goal of making the Americas an antipersonnel-land-mine-free zone; and

TAKING NOTE OF:

The integral mine action cooperation framework agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Organization signed in March 2003; and

The cooperation of the Organization and the Government of Canada with the Government of Argentina and with the Government of Chile, in the area of stockpile destruction,

RESOLVES:

1. To reaffirm the goals of the global elimination of antipersonnel land mines and the conversion of the Americas into an antipersonnel-land-mine-free zone.

2. To urge member states to continue considering mine action as a national and regional priority and to foster the necessary political momentum and contribution of resources to maintain the leadership that the Americas have acquired globally to further this fundamental humanitarian task.

3. To urge member states which have not yet done so to ratify or consider acceding to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and On Their Destruction (Ottawa Convention) as soon as possible to ensure its full and effective implementation.

4. To once again urge member states which have not yet done so to become parties to the 1980 United Nations 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 and the four protocols thereto, as soon as possible; and to request member states to inform the Secretary General when they have done so.

5. To encourage member states either to request assistance from or to provide assistance to, as appropriate, the OAS Mine Action Team through its mine clearance, stockpile destruction, mine risk education, and victim assistance programs, in order to advance mine action in the region.

6. To further encourage member states and permanent observers to provide resources to mine action programs in the region in order to address the financial crisis which is jeopardizing the goal of the Americas as a mine-free zone.

7. To request the Secretary General to consider the possibility of developing new mine action programs in the Americas to assist affected member states, upon request, in fulfilling their commitment to convert the Americas into an antipersonnel-land-mine-free zone.

8. To reiterate the importance of participation by all member states in the OAS Register of Antipersonnel Land Mines by April 15 of each year, in keeping with resolution AG/RES. 1496 (XXVII-O/97), and to commend member states which have regularly submitted their reports to that end.

9. To encourage member states that are parties to the Ottawa Convention to provide to the Secretary General as part of their submissions to the OAS Register of Antipersonnel Land Mines, in keeping with resolution AG/RES. 1496 (XXVII-O/97), a copy of their Ottawa Convention Article 7 transparency reports; and to further encourage member states which are not yet parties to the Ottawa Convention to provide similar information with their annual submissions.

10. To request the Permanent Council to forward any information or recommendations that result pursuant to this resolution to the preparatory body of the Special Conference on Security as a contribution to the preparations for that Conference.

11. To instruct the Permanent Council to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-fourth regular session on the implementation of this resolution.



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