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AG/RES. 2180 (XXXVI-O/06) The Americas As An Antipersonnel-Land-Mine-Free Zone


June 6, 2006

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General Assembly of the Organization of American States
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 6, 2006

The Americas As An Antipersonnel-Land-Mine-Free Zone1

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

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

BEARING IN MIND:

The serious threat that mines and other unexploded ordnance pose to the safety, health, and lives of local civilian populations, as well as of personnel participating in humanitarian, peacekeeping, and rehabilitation programs and operations;

That the presence of mines is a factor that impedes economic and social development in rural and urban areas; and

That their elimination constitutes an obligation and prerequisite for the development and integration of peoples, especially in border areas, and helps to consolidate a common strategy for combating poverty;

RECOGNIZING WITH SATISFACTION:

The efforts being made by member states to implement comprehensive mine-action programs, including activities aimed at mine-risk education, stockpile destruction, mine clearance, the physical and psychological rehabilitation of victims, and the socioeconomic reclamation of demined areas;

The mine-free declaration made by the Government of Honduras at the conclusion of the final phase of its National Mine Action Plan, in October 2004, and the more than 65,000 families who benefited from this important humanitarian effort;

The mine-free declarations made by the Governments of Costa Rica and El Salvador in fulfillment of their obligations under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (Ottawa Convention);

The important and commendable effort made by the Government of Guatemala in managing to complete its mine clearance and destruction of explosive devices operations in 2005, culminating in its mine-free declaration of December 2005, ahead of schedule, in fulfillment of its obligations under the Ottawa Convention, and its readiness to establish a physical and psychological rehabilitation program for the victims of antipersonnel mines;

The outstanding efforts of the Government of Nicaragua in anticipation of concluding its mine clearance and destruction of explosive devices operations by the end of 2006, thereby taking another step toward transforming Central America into the first mine-free region in the world and implementing the program of support for the victims of mines and destruction of explosive devices, as well as the vocational reintegration program;

The important efforts made by the Government of Chile to adhere fully to the precepts set forth in the Ottawa Convention, including the destruction of all stockpiled mines, advances in demining on the border with Peru, work initiated on the borders with Argentina and Bolivia, and the initiative to validate a list of victims, thus making it possible to have a precise and useful record of the injured parties;

The start of mine-clearing operations in Colombia in November 2005, the development and training of a group of Colombian sappers, and the implementation of a rehabilitation and vocational reintegration program for the victims of mines and explosive devices;

The notable effort made by the Government of Suriname in managing to complete its mine-clearing and destruction of explosive devices program in 2005; and

The completion of the destruction of stockpiles and fulfillment of Article 4 of the Ottawa Convention by all the states parties thereto in the Hemisphere;

RECOGNIZING:

The valuable contributions by member states such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, the United States, and Venezuela; and by permanent observers such as Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the Russian Federation, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the European Union;

The efforts being made by all governments to implement comprehensive mine-action programs, including activities aimed at mine-risk education, stockpile destruction, mine clearance, the physical and psychological rehabilitation of victims, and the socioeconomic reclamation of demined areas in their countries;

The success of the Program for Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA), which for over 14 years has supported humanitarian de-mining activities and the destruction of explosive devices; and

The important and efficient coordination work of the General Secretariat, through AICMA, together with the technical assistance of the Inter-American Defense Board;

WELCOMING the work of nongovernmental organizations in furthering the aim of a Hemisphere and a world free of antipersonnel land mines, which is often performed in cooperation and association with the states;

HAVING SEEN:

The Annual Report of the Permanent Council to the General Assembly, in particular the sections on matters assigned to the Committee on Hemispheric Security (AG/doc.4548/06 add. 2); and

The Report of the General Secretariat on the Implementation of Resolutions AG/RES. 2105 (XXXV-O/05), "Support for Actions against Antipersonnel Mines in Ecuador and Peru"; AG/RES. 2106 (XXXV-O/05), "Support for the Program for Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines in Central America"; and AG/RES. 2142 (XXXV-O/05), "The Americas as an Antipersonnel-Land-Mine-Free Zone"; (CP/doc.4098/06 rev. 1 corr. 1);

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"; AG/RES. 1936 (XXXIII-O/03) and AG/RES. 2142 (XXXV-O/05), "The Americas 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 Americas into an antipersonnel-land-mine-free zone;

Its resolutions AG/RES. 1498 (XXVII-O/97), AG/RES. 1568 (XXVIII-O/98), AG/RES. 1641 (XXIX-O/99), AG/RES. 1995 (XXXlV-O/04), and AG/RES. 2106 (XXXV-O/05), "Support for the Program for Comprehensive Action against Anti-personnel Mines in Central America"; AG/RES. 1299 (XXIV-O/94), "Regional Contribution to Global Security: Antipersonnel Land Mines"; and AG/RES. 1343 (XXV-O/95), "Mine-Clearing Programs," which reaffirmed the commitment of member states to use every means necessary to rid their countries of antipersonnel mines; and

Its resolution AG/RES. 1240 (XXIII-O/93), "Inter-American Defense Board," and its resolution AG/RES. 1 (XXXII-E/06), "Statutes of the Inter-American Defense Board";

RECALLING ALSO that in the Declaration on Security in the Americas, adopted at the Special Conference on Security, held in Mexico City on October 28, 2003, the states of the Hemisphere reaffirmed their support for establishing the Hemisphere as an antipersonnel-land-mine-free zone; and

TAKING NOTE of the successful outcomes of the Meeting of States Parties to the Ottawa Convention, held from November 28 to December 2, 2005, in Zagreb, Croatia, and the Declaration adopted by the participants in that meeting,

RESOLVES:

  1. To renew its support for the commitment of member states to strive jointly to rid their territories of land mines and their impact and to convert the Americas into an antipersonnel-land-mine-free zone.
  2. To stress the responsibility of all member states to continue their vital cooperation in mine action as an innovative form of confidence- and security-building.
  3. To acknowledge the moral obligation of member states to support victims of antipersonnel mines both physically and financially, with rehabilitation and vocational reintegration, through their national institutions.
  4. To firmly condemn, in accordance with the principles and norms of international humanitarian law, the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of antipersonnel mines by non-state actors, acts which put at grave risk the population of the affected countries; and to reaffirm that progress toward a mine-free world will be facilitated if non-state actors observe the international norm established by the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (Ottawa Convention).
  5. 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.
  6. To encourage member states to develop statements of remaining goals and to collaborate with the Mine Action Team of the Organization of American States (OAS), through its mine clearance, mine-risk education, and victim assistance programs, in order to advance mine action in the region.
  7. To further encourage member states and permanent observers to support the Program for Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Landmines (AICMA) with all necessary means and to provide resources to mine action programs in the region in order to achieve the goal of the Americas as an antipersonnel-land-mine-free zone.
  8. To urge member states which have not yet done so to ratify or consider acceding to the Ottawa Convention as soon as possible to ensure its full and effective implementation.
  9. To call upon all states parties and non-states parties that share the objectives of the Ottawa Convention to take all necessary action, at the national, regional, and international levels, to implement the Nairobi Action Plan 2005-2009.
  10. 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.
  11. To encourage member states that are party 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 also to encourage member states which are not yet party to the Ottawa Convention to provide similar information with their annual submissions.
  12. Once again to urge member states which have not yet done so to become party as soon as possible 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; and to request member states to inform the Secretary General when they have done so.
  13. To instruct the General Secretariat to continue to provide member states, within the resources allocated in the program-budget of the Organization and other resources, with the support necessary to continue the mine-clearing programs and the prevention education programs for the civilian population, the rehabilitation of victims and their families, and the socioeconomic reclamation of demined areas.
  14. To request the Inter-American Defense Board to continue to provide technical advice to AICMA.
  15. To request the Secretary General to transmit this resolution to the United Nations Secretary-General and to other international organizations as he deems appropriate.
  16. To request the Permanent Council and the General Secretariat to present a report on the implementation of this resolution to the General Assembly at its thirty-seventh regular session.

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1The "conversion of the Americas into an antipersonnel-land-mine-free zone" is incompatible with current United States landmine policy, which clearly states that we will not become a party to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (Ottawa Convention). The United States remains committed to humanitarian mine action and to cooperating in practical steps to end the harmful legacy of landmines. The United States will continue to support OAS efforts to eliminate the humanitarian threat of all persistent landmines and declare countries "mine-impact-free."



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