Participation in the international campaign to ban landmines and work on the Convention of Norway won international recognition. Norway’s contribution was also in providing technical and financial support of the international movement to ban landmines. In the period from 1997 to December 2005 the country has invested in these shares over 200 million U.S. dollars. Norway is also actively involved in the mobilization of resources at the international level to support such actions and to ensure more efficient use of existing resources.
Norwegian non-governmental organizations also play an important role in efforts aimed at implementing the Convention on the Prohibition of landmines and other humanitarian actions. One of the leaders in this field is the organization “Norwegian People’s Aid.”ť Experience and knowledge of this organization were very important to the active position of Norway in this field.
Prohibition of antipersonnel mines is an important rule of international humanitarian law. This prohibition does not only mean they can not be used for military purposes, but also creates in countries, affected by war, more favorable conditions for socio-economic development. Clearing minefields after hostilities is essential to restore confidence between the parties and means that the land can be used for other purposes. Therefore, the struggle to ban anti-personnel mines is a vital part of the Norwegian contribution to peace processes, for example, in countries such as Sri Lanka and Sudan.
Convention banning anti-personnel mines was opened for signature on 3 December 1997, and entered into force on 1 March 1999, it created an entirely new legal norm against antipersonnel mines. Once the Convention enters into force there was a significant reduction in the use of such mines, a sharp decline in their production, the almost complete cessation of trade, a sharp reduction in stocks, clearance of a significant number of minefields and, not least a significant reduction in the number of victims. To date, 151 countries have ratified the Convention, but it has been recognized as an international norm as in the countries to its non-aligned. Many of these countries comply with the provisions of the Convention in their policies.
Many members of the ICBL involved at the operational level of clearance, risk education and victim assistance. Our other members are working with human rights, humanitarian, children’s issues on the world, people with disabilities, with veteran, medical groups, with groups on the development, arms control, religious, environmental and women’s groups. As a network, our primary role in monitoring and advocacy is one: the rise of civil society voices so that our issues are heard to the decision makers. Through the annual Landmine Monitor report, we control the reaction of the international community to the global problem of mines and explosive remnants of war.
The Mine Ban Treaty provides a legal framework to ensure that mines will never be used again, and that there is no return to their use. It prohibits any use, manufacture or trade of antipersonnel mines, requires destruction of stockpiled mines within four years, clearing minefields within ten years and Mine Victims Assistance. It also provides control and compliance with the obligations of parties under the contract, including reports at regular meetings of members and annual reports, as described in World council of churches, international affairs, peace & human security.
Currently, 80% of the world is bound by the agreement. Many states that remain outside of the convention, actually abide by its rules and cease the use and production of antipersonnel mines. The Mine Ban Treaty States Parties to the convention forced to demine and return to productive use of large tracts of land, teach mine risk affected communities, to provide support to victims of mines and destroy millions of stored anti-personnel mines, which guarantees that they will never be used again. Users of these weapons are now a handful of them and more and more stigmatized.
According to The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), “The Campaign was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of its efforts to bring about the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. Since then, we have been advocating for the words of the treaty to become a reality, demonstrating on a daily basis that civil society has the power to change the world. As a member of the Cluster Munition Coalition, the ICBL is engaged in the global effort to ban cluster munitions and to address their humanitarian impact.”ť