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UN Anti-Personnel Landmine Ban Convention meets in Cambodia ;

December 27, 2011 - CAMBODIA

Some 156 state signatories to the Anti-Personnel Landmine Ban Convention will meet up in Phnom Penh this November, and several major players will continue to be conspicuous by their absence - namely the United States, China, Russia and India.

Some 156 state signatories to the Anti-Personnel Landmine Ban Convention will meet up in Phnom Penh this November, and several major players will continue to be conspicuous by their absence - namely the United States, China, Russia and India. In November, the new nation of South Sudan formally became the 158th State to either ratify or accede to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Adopted in 1997, the Convention came into force in March 1999 when just 40 nations agreed that they would no longer stockpile, produce or transfer landmines. Rather, they agreed to destroy them, clear up the tens of thousands of unmarked fields around the world and offer support to the hundreds of victims who lose limbs every month. Nations that still suffer from mostly unmapped mining include Egypt, Iran, Angola, Afghanistan, Iraq, Cambodia, Bosnia and Mozambique. But criticism of the Convention, by those who refuse to sign, includes the fact that mines are a cheap, cost-effective area-denial weapon that have become ever easier to deactivate once need for them has passed. Other countries have refused to sign up as the Convention removes responsibility for mine clearance from the states that originally laid them. Egypt, for example, still has 23 million mines laid by British forces in WWII that have sent thousands of civilians to early graves. However, Cairo refuses to sign, saying London should have to take at least some responsibility in clearing a vast area known locally as 'the Devil's Garden'. ARTICLE WRITTEN BY NEWSAHEAD CORRESPONDENT LAWRENCE SMALLMAN

Nepal army clears final landmine (BBC 14 June 2011)

Macroswiss Claymore Camera makes a dumb mine much smarter (2 Feb 2007)

Egyptian Bedouins ask Britain for compensation over devices left after the Second World War (Al Jazeera 24 Nov 2009)

Text of the UN landmine ban treaty

Convention page on Facebook

Date written/update: 2011-12-27