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AG/RES. 2269 (XXXVII-O/07) The Americas as an Antipersonnel-Land-Mine-Free Zone


June 5, 2007

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The Americas As An Antipersonnel-Land-Mine-Free Zone[1]

(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 5, 2007)

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;

That mines have a humanitarian impact with very serious consequences which are long-lasting and require sustained socioeconomic assistance to victims; 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 declarations and the efforts made by Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Suriname in fulfillment of said declarations;

The efforts made by Chile to adhere fully to the precepts set forth in the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (Ottawa Convention), including the destruction of all stockpiled mines;

The demining operations carried out in Colombia, a country with one of the world's greatest number of land-mine victims;

The joint, combined efforts by Ecuador and Peru in demining, destruction of stockpiles, and transparency measures;

The sustained effort by Nicaragua to conclude its destruction of antipersonnel mines, which will soon enable it to declare itself a mine-free country in the Hemisphere; its extensive prevention education program aimed at sensitizing children, adolescents, and the general public to mine dangers; and the resolute support it provides for the physical and professional rehabilitation program for mine victims; 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, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, the United States, and Venezuela; and by permanent observers such as Austria, Denmark, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the Russian Federation, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom;

The success of the Program for Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA), which for over 15 years has supported humanitarian demining 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 (AG/doc.4698/07 corr. 1), in particular the sections on matters assigned to the Committee on Hemispheric Security; and

The report of the General Secretariat on the implementation of resolutions AG/RES. 2180 (XXXVI-O/06), "The Americas as an Antipersonnel-Land-Mine-Free Zone," and AG/RES. 2181 (XXXVI-O/06), "Support for Actions against Antipersonnel Mines in Ecuador and Peru";

RECALLING the 18 OAS General Assembly resolutions from 1997 to 2005 directly relating to antipersonnel landmines, which were referenced individually in resolution AG/RES. 2180 (XXXVI-O/06) and adopted by consensus by all the member states;

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 outcome of the Meeting of States Parties to the Ottawa Convention held from September 18 to 22, 2006, in Geneva, and the naming of Peru and Canada as the Ottawa Convention co-rapporteurs for mine clearance,

RESOLVES:

1. To renew its support for the commitment of member states to strive jointly to rid their territories of landmines and destroy their stockpiles and to convert the Americas into the world's first antipersonnel-land-mine-free zone as soon as possible, with Central America mine-free by the end of 2008.

2. To stress the responsibility of all member states to continue their vital cooperation in mine action as a national and regional priority, as well as a means to promote confidence and security, and to develop statements of remaining goals, contribute resources, and collaborate with the Mine Action Team of the Organization of American States (OAS).

3. To urge the international donor community to continue its support for the comprehensive hemispheric humanitarian task which is still being waged in victim rehabilitation in Guatemala, El Salvador, and other countries, and in ongoing demining activities in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Peru.

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 celebrate the support of 33 member states of the Hemisphere through ratification of the Ottawa Convention; and to encourage the Governments of Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Peru to continue working in the area of mine action, in accordance with said Convention and with their mine action plans.

6. 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.

7. 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.

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 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 to further encourage member states which are not yet party to the Ottawa Convention to provide similar information with their annual submissions.

10. 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 to the four protocols thereto; and to request member states to inform the Secretary General when they have done so.

11. 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, prevention education programs for the civilian population, and programs for the rehabilitation of victims and their families and for the socioeconomic reclamation of demined areas.

12. To request the Inter-American Defense Board to continue to provide technical advice to the Program for Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA).

13. To request the Secretary General to forward this resolution to the United Nations Secretary-General and to other international organizations as he deems appropriate.

14. 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-eighth regular session.



[1]. The "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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