Overview and Convention Text

The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction is the cornerstone of the international effort to end the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel mines.

Negotiation of the Convention

The so-called Ottawa Process led efforts which would ultimately result in the adoption and signing of the Convention. The Process began in 1996, right after the Ottawa Conference held from 3-5 October in Canada.

The Process was a “bold gamble” that paid off largely as a result of the advocacy work of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the International Committee of the Red Cross working in partnership with a core group of States that were equally committed to a ban on anti-personnel mines. These States included Angola, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Germany, Norway, Philippines, South Africa and Switzerland, among others.

In addition to a variety of regional conferences and mine action forums that took place in 1997 all over the world, the Process featured various events of great significance.

Find out what those events were and more on the Process here.

Also, read more on the adoption and signing of the Convention through a 20 anniversary publication here.

The Convention was adopted on 18 September 1997 and it entered into force on 1 March 1999. In 1997, the international community commemorated the 20 years of the Ottawa Process, negotiation and signing of the Convention. 

The Convention nowadays

To date, 164 States have formally agreed to be bound by the Convention.

The Convention provides a framework for mine action, seeking both to end existing suffering and to prevent future suffering. It bans the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines.

In addition, States that accede to the Convention accept that they will destroy both stockpiled and emplaced anti-personnel mines, and assist the victims of landmines.

Convention Text | Official Versions

Convention Text | Unofficial Translations

On 3 December 1997, representatives of more than 100 states signed the Convention in Ottawa, thereby expressing their determination to put an end to the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel mines.
(L-R)-Foreign Minister of Canada, Lloyd Axworthy, can be seen signing the Convention on behalf of Canada.
Witnessing this event are (L-R): Ralph Lysyshyn (Canada); the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate, Jody Williams; the then-President of the ICRC, Cornelio Sommaruga; the then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan; and, the then-Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chrétien.

On 3 December 2004 the States Parties reaffirmed their commitment when they signed the 2004 Nairobi Declaration.
In the picture above, Nairobi Summit President Wolfgang Petritsch presents a copy of the Nairobi Declaration to ICBL representatives Tun Channaret and Song Kosal of Cambodia. Returning to observe this presentation are Jody Williams and Cornelio Sommaruga, joined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kenya, Chirau Ali Mwakwere.

Five years later, the States Parties reaffirmed their commitment during the 2009 Cartagena Summit. Here the Summit President, Ambassador Susan Eckey of Norway receives a copy of the Cartagena Declaration from members of the ICBL youth group.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia and the Vice President of Colombia witness the closing ceremony.

 In 2014, the international community returned to Mozambique for the Third Review Conference where States Parties signed the Maputo Declaration.
The Special Envoys of the Convention, HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium and HRH Prince Mired of Jordan, also signed the Declaration.