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AG/RES. 1496 (XXVII-O/97): The Western Hemisphere as an Antipersonnel-Land-Mine-Free Zone


June 5, 1997

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(Resolution adopted at the seventh plenary session, held on June 5, 1997)

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

TAKING NOTE of the report of the General Secretariat on the Mine-Clearing Program in Central America (AG/doc.3465/97);

NOTING WITH GRAVE CONCERN that, according to the same report, there are still thousands of antipersonnel land mines in Central America and that there is information regarding their existence in other areas of the Hemisphere;

CONCERNED that these antipersonnel land mines are constantly producing innocent victims in Latin America, destroying the economic assets of rural populations, and hindering the normal development of society as a whole;

MINDFUL that enormous human, financial, and technological resources are needed for mine-clearing in the affected areas in Latin America and that the resources available to dispatch this urgent task are limited;

RECALLING resolutions AG/RES. 1299 (XXIV-O/94), AG/RES. 1335 (XXV-O/95), AG/RES. 1343 (XXV-O/95), and AG/RES. 1411 (XXVI-O/96) on antipersonnel land mines;

ALSO RECALLING United Nations General Assembly resolution A/51/45 S, sponsored by 24 member states of the Organization of American States (OAS), which, inter alia, urges states to pursue vigorously an effective international agreement to ban the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of antipersonnel land mines with a view to completing the negotiation as soon as possible;

MINDFUL of United Nations General Assembly resolutions 49/79 and 50/74, concerning the 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 Protocol II to this convention;

RECOGNIZING the support of the OAS General Secretariat and of individual states and other international institutions with regard to mine-clearing efforts in Central America;

WELCOMING the outcome of the Ottawa Conference "Towards a Global Ban on Anti-Personnel Land Mines," and taking note of the growing number of countries that have pledged support for initiatives aimed at the global elimination of the production, stockpiling, use, and transfer of antipersonnel land mines, including the Ottawa Process and the efforts of the Disarmament Conference to reach a legally binding international agreement to ban antipersonnel land mines;

APPRECIATIVE of all the initiatives to increase awareness of the danger of antipersonnel land mines and to strengthen international efforts in order to attain a legally binding international agreement to ban antipersonnel land mines permanently;

ALSO WELCOMING the statement by Mexico declaring itself an antipersonnel-land-mine-free zone and the joint statement by the Central American and CARICOM foreign ministers proposing that their region should become an antipersonnel-land-mine-free zone by 1999;

COMMITTED to the goal that those member states affected by the scourge of antipersonnel land mines may be permanently free of them, after the mine-clearing operations have been completed, and that the nations of the Hemisphere may focus all human and financial efforts on national development, democracy, and hemispheric solidarity;

RECOGNIZING the contributions of member states to the integrated register of antipersonnel land mines, which provides information on, inter alia, antipersonnel land mine stockpiles, the number of antipersonnel land mines removed during the past year, and the plans for clearance of the remaining antipersonnel land mines; and

EXPRESSING its deep satisfaction with the increasing number of member states that have declared bans or moratoria on the production, use, and transfer of antipersonnel land mines or that have begun to destroy stockpiles,

RESOLVES:

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

2. To call upon member states that have not already done so to declare and implement moratoria on the production, use, and transfer of all antipersonnel land mines in the Western Hemisphere at the earliest possible date and to inform the Secretary General when they have done so.

3. To urge member states that 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 its protocols, especially Protocol II as amended, and to urge those member states which are already parties to this Convention to ratify Protocol II as amended at the earliest possible date and to request member states to inform the Secretary General when they have done so.

4. To request the Permanent Council to continue, through its Committee on Hemispheric Security, with the support of the General Secretariat and as a confidence- and security-building measure, to implement a complete and integrated register of antipersonnel land mines based on the information provided each year by member states on the following: the approximate number of anti-personnel land mines in their stockpiles, the number of antipersonnel land mines that have been removed during the past year, plans for clearance of the remaining antipersonnel land mines, and any other pertinent information.

5. To urge member states, as they work toward the goals adopted in resolution AG/RES. 1411 (XXVI-O/96), to continue to implement measures aimed at suspending the spread of anti-personnel land mines, such as stockpile destruction; and to encourage member states to adopt domestic legislation, as necessary, to prohibit the private possession and transfer of antipersonnel land mines and to inform the Secretary General when they have done so.

6. To urge member states to pursue vigorously an effective, legally binding international agreement to ban the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of antipersonnel land mines with a view to completing its negotiation as soon as possible.

7. To commend those member states that have started to implement the provisions of resolution AG/RES. 1411 (XXVI-O/96) and that have submitted the appropriate reports to the OAS.

8. To request the Secretary General to write to all non-OAS member states, informing them of the goals adopted in operative paragraph 1 of this resolution and calling upon them to support these undertakings.

9. To request the Secretary General to inform the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and other international organizations concerned of measures adopted by the OAS to eliminate all use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of antipersonnel land mines.

10. To instruct the Permanent Council to report to the General Assembly at its twenty-eighth regular session on the topics addressed in this resolution.



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