Archive | 25 years ago landmines were banned by international treaty

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Archives | 25 years ago, anti-personnel mines were banned by an international treaty

The treaty banning anti-personnel mines was adopted in 1997.

On September 18, 1997, a conference held in Oslo achieved an unprecedented feat in the annals of diplomacy, as confirmed by our archives.

“It's not often that countries agree to ban weapons. Well, it just happened in Oslo with a hundred countries, which, on the initiative of Canada, decided to ban anti-personnel mines. »

— Bernard Derome, September 17, 1997

Report by journalist Guy Gendron on the adoption of a final text on the abolition of anti-personnel mines by an international treaty

The host of Téléjournalhighlights the achievement in the Norwegian capital as 122 countries sign on to the final text of what will become the Landmine Ban Treaty.

The following report by journalist Guy Gendron reiterates that the adoption of this final text is an undeniable diplomatic victory for Canada and for its Minister of Foreign Affairs Lloyd Axworthy.

Let's go back a bit.

In October 1996, Minister Axworthy organized what was called the first Ottawa conference on landmines.

This conference put a treaty negotiation process back on track banning anti-personnel mines which had existed since 1992, but was then at an impasse.

What is now referred to as the Ottawa process will lead in September 1997 to the success of the Oslo conference.

Guy Gendron nevertheless explains that if the text was adopted unanimously in the Norwegian capital, it is because some countries simply left the conference.

This is particularly the case of the United States, which would have liked to see certain exceptions included in the text.

Several other major manufacturers or users of antipersonnel mines — Russia and the People's Republic of China in particular — have also refused to sign the text of the future treaty.

On October 10, 1997, it was again from the city of Oslo that another boost came to the international mobilization seeking to banish anti-personnel mines.

On this day, the Norwegian committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize, grants this award to the American academic Jody Williams.

She is the coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

Report by journalist Daniel L'Heureux on the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Jody Williams

As Téléjournal host Pierre Craig pointed out that same day, the appointment of Jody Williams indirectly reflects on Minister Lloyd Axworthy.

The latter, for his part, coordinated Canada's efforts to have a treaty banning these weapons signed in Ottawa in December 1997.

Journalist Daniel L'Heureux's report shows Lloyd Axworthy pleased with the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Jody Williams.

The fact that she is American could make Washington relent in her refusal to adhere to the Ottawa treaty, the minister hopes.

On December 3 and 4, 1997, the city of Ottawa took over from Oslo and hosted a conference inviting countries to sign the treaty banning anti-personnel mines.

But what exactly are these anti-personnel mines that the Ottawa treaty intends to abolish?

An anti-personnel mine is a so-called conventional weapon designed to explode near or on contact with a person.

It is a device that costs as little as three US dollars to produce.

Explanation of the impacts that an antipersonnel mine can have. Pierre Maisonneuve hosts Maisonneuve listening.

On December 2, 1997, the program Maisonneuve listening presents the impact that the use of anti-personnel mines.

Listening to this excerpt, which takes the situation in Cambodia as an example, we understand that these weapons have vicious and appalling consequences on the populations and on the development of the countries which are the victims.

In 2022, the Ottawa Treaty is 25 years old. Did it have the desired effects?

Report by journalist Emmanuelle Latraverse on the impact of the Ottawa Treaty

Until 2013, recalls a report by parliamentary correspondent Emmanuelle Latraverse presented on December 8, 2017 in Téléjournal, the treaty was very effective.

Claudine Bourbonnais hosted the Téléjournal that day.

World mobilization, which culminated in the adoption of the Ottawa Treaty in December 1997, caused a drastic drop in the number of victims of anti-personnel mines on the planet until 2013.

From 1997 to 2013, this figure drastically decreased, from 30,000 to 3,353.

Since then the figures have been rising, notes the journalist, however.

Illustrating her point with the example of Colombia, Emmanuelle Latraverse observes that less and less sophisticated, but still very deadly, anti-personnel mines are being produced.

In 2017, anti-personnel mines killed more than 6,400 people.

This upsurge can be explained by several factors.

There are new ways to make landmines.

New conflicts that break out encourage dictatorial regimes to use them against their own populations.

According to the latest statistics, landmines claimed 7,073 victims in 2020.

Of this number, 80% were civilians.

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