Myanmar attended, as an observer, at the Seventeenth Meeting of States Parties to the Antipersonnel Landmine Ban Convention in Geneva in November 2018.
Myanmar made one statement at the meeting, during the session on Universalization, which is usually when governments which have yet to accede to the convention provide information on their efforts to join the convention.
Full audio of Myanmar’s statement is here.
Myanmar stated that it sent observers to some meetings of the convention beginning in 2003, and has done so to increase its own understanding of the purpose and work of the convention.
Myanmar stated that it “recognized the importance of the convention in putting an end to the human suffering caused by antipersonnel landmines and in saving lives, returning hope and human dignity.”
Myanmar also stated that it believes the universalization of the convention is vital towards this goal.
Myanmar stated that although it has not joined the convention, it is attending meetings and “taking necessary measures in terms of mine clearance, victim assistance and mine risk education”.
Myanmar stated that it is providing necessary assistance to mine victims and has accepted the principle of marking dangerous areas in line with international mine action standards.
Myanmar stated that building peace is the most important step toward clearing mines in Myanmar. Myanmar noted that 10 ethnic armed organizations have signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement which includes a provision on landmine clearance.
Myanmar notes that one of the key challenges to the universalization of the convention is the use of mines by terrorist groups and non-state armed groups.
Regarding the allegations of use of antipersonnel landmines by Myanmar, Myanmar noted that its forces and those of Bangladesh have been conducting coordinated patrols along their shared border 19 times since August 2018 and notes that no incidents of landmine casualties have been reported in that area. Myanmar stated that accusations without concrete evidence would not help countries join the convention.
Myanmar concluded with a request for increased technical assistance.