Article | Last updated: 26/02/2019 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Mine Ban Treaty (MBT) is the international agreement that prohibits anti-personnel mines. Its official title is the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction.
The text of the MBT was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Oslo on 18 September 1997. On 3 December the same year, the Treaty was signed by a total of 122 countries in Ottawa. In September 1998, Burkina Faso became the 40th country to ratify the MBT, with the result that the Treaty entered into force six months later. This meant that the MBT became a binding instrument of international law in March 1999. No other treaty of this kind had ever entered into force so quickly. As of February 2019, 164 countries have ratified the MBT, and it remains open to accession by other countries.
Under the Treaty, states parties are committed to ‘put an end to the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel mines’. The treaty sets out two main categories of obligations:
- those that prevent problems with mines in the future, i.e. the prohibition of the use, production or transfer of anti-personnel mines, and the obligation to destroy or ensure the destruction of stockpiled mines, and
- those that seek to address current problems, i.e. mine clearance, mine awareness programmes, and assistance to victims.
States parties to the MBT have agreed:
- never to use, develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer anti-personnel mines
- to destroy or ensure the destruction of all stockpiled anti-personnel mines not later than four years after the entry into force of the MBT for the state party concerned,
- to destroy or ensure the destruction of all anti-personnel mines in mined areas under the state party’s jurisdiction or control not later than 10 years after the entry into force of the MBT for that state party,
- to provide assistance for the care and rehabilitation, and social and economic reintegration, of mine victims, and for mine awareness programmes,
- to offer assistance to other states parties, for example for care and rehabilitation of victims and for mine clearance,
- to take all appropriate legal and administrative measures (such as national legislation) to ensure that the MBT is upheld in their territory.