IRRC No. 325

An international ban on anti-personnel mines: History and negotiation of the “Ottawa treaty”

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As the First Review Conference of the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) closed in Geneva on 3 May 1996, there was widespread dismay at the failure of the States Parties to reach consensus on effective ways to combat the global scourge of landmines. The CCW Protocol II as amended on 3 May 1996 (Protocol II as amended) introduced a number of changes that were widely welcomed, but it fell far short of totally prohibiting these weapons, a move already supported by more than 40 States. Keen to sustain the international momentum that might otherwise have slackened, the Canadian delegation announced that Canada would host a meeting of pro-ban States later in the year to develop a strategy to move the international community towards a global ban on anti-personnel mines.

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