Landmines, both antipersonnel (APM) and anti-vehicle (AVM), put innocent lives at risk long after conflict has ended. Year by year more than 20.000 victims are to be mourned. Antipersonnel mines are banned by the Ottawa Convention.
But unfortunately Ottawa Member States have been unable to achieve a clear understanding about the definition of an antipersonnel mine. A lot of existing anti-vehicle mines are equipped with sensitive fuzing systems - including anti-handling devices which can be detonated by an unintentional act - likely to be detonated by a person. Any mine which is likely to be detonated by the presence, proximity or contact of a person is an antipersonnel mine. Specifically, this means that amoung antipersonnel mines also anti vehicle mines equipped with tripwires, breakwires, tilt-rods, low-pressure fuses and similar fuses are prohibited for State Parties. Many of the Ottawa member states agree to this treaty interpretation.
But only a small group of countries, including Germany, United Kingdom, France, Japan, and Denmark is lobbying against a common understanding on this issues. They ignore the negotiating history, the object and purpose of the Convention and the basic rules of treaty interpretation, to the debit of countless future mine victims.
This petition shall urge especially the small group of member states of the Ottawa Convention not to block any further the understanding that every mine which is likely to be detonated by the presence, proximity or contact of a person is an antipersonnel mine and therefore prohibited by the Convention.
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