In mid-June the United Nations Security Council passed its first ever resolution on Mine Action.
During Security Council debate it was emphasized that Mine Action extends beyond simply removing landmines, but must be seen as an effective tool for helping communities and countries pursue sustainable peace.
The example of Colombia’s peace process and mine action were highlighted, where addressing landmine contamination focused on rebuilding communities. In Colombia, humanitarian demining efforts had already produced results, serving as an essential component in initiating the socioeconomic reconstruction of communities and overcoming an impasse during negotiations for a peace accord between the Government of Colombia and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia?Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP). For more than one year, that demining initiative was the only concrete action that had been jointly implemented by negotiating parties.
The Security Council resolution urges all parties to armed conflicts to end, immediately and definitively, any indiscriminate use of explosive devices in violation of international humanitarian law. The Security Council urged all parties to armed conflicts to protect civilian populations, including children, from the threats posed by landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices and, in this regard, encourages the international community to advocate and support efforts to clear these devices, to provide risk education, and to conduct risk reduction activities, as well as to provide assistance for the care, rehabilitation and economic and social reintegration of victims and persons with disabilities.
The Security Council Press Release and the full text of the Resolution follow.
Action, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2365 (2017)
Expressing its deep concern over the number of civilians killed or maimed by landmines, improvised devices and other deadly remnants of war, the Security Council today called on the international community to end the carnage by acceding to regulatory treaties and supporting physical removal of such explosives.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2365 (2017), the first stand-alone text on mine action, the Council called upon all parties to armed conflicts to “end immediately and definitively any indiscriminate use of explosive devices in violation of international humanitarian law”, as well as to take steps to protect civilian population from the threat through education, rehabilitation and other measures.
It also called on all Member States to abide by their international obligations related to mine action, and on States, international organizations, civil society and other stakeholders to provide assistance in mine clearance upon request of States.
The Council stressed the importance of ensuring, where appropriate, that peacekeeping operations were equipped, informed and trained to reduce the threat of landmines, explosive remnants or war and improvised explosive devices, with the subject considered during earliest mandate planning.
In addition, it recognized the extensive current role of the United Nations system in mitigating the threat of lurking explosive devices, particularly the coordinating role of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).
The Council requested the Secretary-General to provide the Security Council with information on mine threats and mitigation when reporting on peacekeeping operations, special political missions and humanitarian responses in areas where they posed a threat. It further requested the Secretary-General to submit a report to the Council on the implementation of the resolution within one year.
Speakers welcomed the adoption as a significant step in mitigating the terrible threat of explosive devices, being the first resolution focused on the issue. Recalling statements made in the open debate of 13 June on the issue, most also called for universalization of the Ottawa Convention for the Prohibition of Anti-personnel Mines.
Sacha Sergio Llorentty Solíz (Bolivia), Council President for June, spoke in his national capacity, emphasizing the five pillars of mine action and their relationship with all peace-keeping activities. He also paid tribute to the United Nations Mine action service.
Yasuhisa Kawamura (Japan) said he hoped the resolution would provide additional guidance to stakeholders in ending the threat and highlighted his country’s significant role in working for a mine-free world.
Irina Schoulgin-Nyoni (Sweden) pointed to the need for all stakeholders to step up their efforts to minimize the occurrence, effects and the risk from the threat and pledged her countries continued work for universalization of the international frameworks that had been put in place.
Elbio Rosselli (Uruguay), while emphatically condemning the use of landmines, voiced regret that stronger language for universalization of the Ottawa Convention had not been included in the text. Some 30 countries had not yet ratified the Convention, some of them quite significant, he added.
Sebastiano Cardi (Italy) proposed that mine action, including removal of all unexploded ordinance, be an activity that underpins peacemaking in post-conflict situations, as it related to many other peace-making goals.
Fodé Seck (Senegal) emphasized the dangers of explosive devices to peacekeepers and noted that his country had destroyed its stockpile of mines when it acceded to the Ottawa Convention. He said he hoped that the adoption of the resolution would be the first step in much stronger international action to end the production, use and carnage of the devices.
The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 10:25 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2365 (2017) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its resolutions 1590 (2005), 2102 (2013), 2295 (2016), 2299 (2016), 2305 (2016), 2327 (2016), 2338 (2017) and 2339 (2017), which mandate United Nations mine-action-related activities in peacekeeping operations and special political missions,
“Recalling reports of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations of the General Assembly, which have provided guidance to the United Nations Secretariat on improvised explosive device threat and impact reduction,
“Taking note of General Assembly resolutions 71/72 and 70/80, by which Member States decided to continue to include on the agenda of the General Assembly issues related to assistance in mine action and countering the threat posed by improvised explosive devices,
“Recalling also all relevant treaties and conventions related to mine action, their implementation and their review processes, by the respective parties,
“Expressing deep concern at the serious and lasting threat to civilians posed by landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices long after the end of conflict,
“Expressing deep concern about the number of civilians, including children, killed or maimed by landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices, in conflict and post conflict situations,
“Expressing deep concern to the serious humanitarian threat, posed to civilians by landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices in affected countries, which has serious and lasting social and economic consequences for the populations of such countries, as well as of personnel participating in law enforcement, humanitarian, peacekeeping, rehabilitation and clearance programmes and operations,
“Noting with grave concern that the indiscriminate use of improvised explosive devices, including by terrorists, remains a major threat to the civilian population, including refugees returning to their homes, the safety of peacekeeping personnel, and the effective implementation of mission mandates,
“Remaining seriously concerned over insecurity that is exacerbated by the presence of landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices, which threatens the peace, security and stability of States and hinders humanitarian access and the provision of assistance, and impedes sustainable economic development,
“Recognizing that mine action enhances the mobility and safety of peacekeepers and humanitarian workers and contributes to the protection of civilians and supports stabilization and peacebuilding efforts,
“Recognizing the primary role of States, as well as the supporting role of the United Nations, including the coordination role of the United Nation Mine Action Service, within the United Nations System, as well as other relevant organizations, in the mitigation of dangers posed to civilians by landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices,
“Appreciating that partnership and cooperation are central to the success of mine action, particularly between national authorities, the United Nations, regional organizations, civil society, and private sector,
“Recognizing the continued progress made to survey and clear landmines, explosive remnants of war, and improvised explosive devices, to provide risk education to affected populations, and to support to victims,
“Recalling the continued efforts by Member States, as well as the United Nations system, relevant institutions, and other stake holders, to provide the necessary information and technical, financial and material assistance to locate, remove, mark, monitor, record and retain information on, clear, destroy or otherwise render ineffective minefields, mines, booby-traps, other devices, including improvised explosive devices, and explosive remnants of war, in accordance with each State’s respective international legal obligations, and emphasizing the need to enhance coordination and information-sharing with the relevant stake holders, on a voluntary basis,
“Expressing grave concern over cases where weapons, including landmines and improvised explosive devices, are being used in any manner that violates international humanitarian law,
“1. Expresses grave concern over the threat that landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices pose to civilians, refugees returning to their homes, as well as to peacekeepers, humanitarian personnel, civilian personnel, and law enforcement personnel, and stresses the need to undertake appropriate measures to mitigate this danger effectively;
“2. Calls on all parties to armed conflicts to end immediately and definitively any indiscriminate use of explosive devices in violation of international humanitarian law;
“3. Urges parties to armed conflicts to protect civilian populations, including children, from the threats posed by landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices and, in this regard, encourages the international community to advocate and support efforts to clear these devices, to provide risk education, and to conduct risk reduction activities, as well as to provide assistance for the care, rehabilitation and economic and social reintegration of victims and persons with disabilities;
“4. Stresses the importance of ensuring, where appropriate, that peacekeeping operations, are equipped, informed, and trained to reduce the threat posed by landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices;
“5. Calls upon Member States to comply with their respective international obligations related to mine action;
“6. Calls upon Member States, and relevant United Nations entities, in accordance with their mandates, as well as international actors and civil society, and relevant stake holders, in a position to do so, to provide assistance to clear landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices, upon request of States;
“7. Recognizes in this regard, the efforts made by donors and affected States and encourages them, where appropriate, to further strengthen national capacities, to mitigate effectively the threat posed to civilians by landmines, explosive remnants of war, and improvised explosive devices;
“8. Encourages efforts by all actors to conduct mine action activities in accordance with standards consistent with the international mine action standards, including at the national level, on a voluntary basis;
“9. Recognizes the positive contribution that mine action activities make to stabilization and peace sustainment efforts in the aftermath of conflict and encourages its inclusion, where appropriate, in relevant cease fire and peace agreements;
“10. Stresses the importance of considering mine action during the earliest stages of planning and programming in peacekeeping operations and special political missions, where appropriate, as well as humanitarian emergency responses, taking into account relevant gender and age specific considerations, particularly in survey methodology, victim assistance and risk education;
“11. Recognizes the role of the United Nations, including the coordination role of the United Nations Mine Action Service within the United Nations system, in mitigating the dangers posed by landmines, explosive remnants of war, and improvised explosive devices, including through emergency responses and coordination of international actors and encourages their continued involvement, where appropriate, particularly to implement relevant mandates authorized by the Security Council;
“12. Encourages States and organizations, in a position to do so, to remain actively engaged in the support of increased technical, advisory, and operational capacity in mine action, including by assisting affected States and relevant actors in the United Nations system;
“13. Welcomes the continued partnership and cooperation between the regional and sub regional organizations, especially the African Union and the United Nations, to mitigate the threat to civilians from landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices, including through the Joint Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security;
“14. Takes note of the ongoing elaboration of the United Nations Improvised Explosive Device Disposal Standards by national technical experts coordinated with the United Nations Mine Action Service, and stresses the need for intensified consultation with relevant stake holders as part of this process;
“15. Requests the Secretary-General, to provide the Security Council with information on threats posed by landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices, and measures to mitigate these threats, when reporting on peacekeeping operations, special political missions, and humanitarian responses in areas where landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices, present a threat;
“16. Also requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Security Council a report on the implementation of the present resolution, when appropriate, within the next year;
“17. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
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