Sri Lanka becomes the 163rd state party to the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty

Sri Lanka on Wednesday became the 163rd country to accede to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention fulfilling the pledge made last year to join the international community in supporting the ongoing landmine clearance program.

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York on Wednesday (Dec 13) deposited the Instrument of Accession to the Convention of the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (Ottawa Treaty) at the Treaty Section of the United Nations in New York.

At an event to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Ottawa Convention entitled ‘A World Free of Landmines’ convened jointly by Permanent Missions of Belgium, Canada and Colombia at the United Nations today, Permanent Representative, Dr. Rohan Perera made a brief intervention welcoming the initiative taken by the Missions concerned and for the contribution made by these countries in making the Ottawa treaty a reality.

“As a full State Party, we look forward taking our place in the promotion of this Convention, including through capacity-building and mine clearance,” Dr. Perera said.

He also took the opportunity to announce that Sri Lanka had formally transmitted the instrument of accession to the treaty, which was warmly received by those present. He further noted the fact that even before becoming a party to the treaty, Sri Lanka has supported the humanitarian objectives of the treaty and had hosted regional events on advancing its humanitarian objectives. He further thanked the ICRC and other international partners for the assistance received in mine clearance.

The event comprised of a panel discussion which included among others, Mr. Lloyd Axworthy, Former Foreign Minister of Canada who was an architect of the Ottawa Treaty and Dr. Philip Spoerri, Head of International Committee of the Red Cross Delegation to the UN.

Commonly known as the Ottawa Treaty, this Convention was concluded by the Diplomatic Conference on an International Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Land Mines at Oslo, Norway on 18th September 1997. There are currently 163 State Parties to the Treaty.

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