The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (Ottawa Convention) entered into force in 1999. Currently, 162 countries are States Parties to the convention. Austria is one of the leading States in the Ottawa Process and is strongly committed to promoting the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and their destruction. In this spirit, Austria continued to make an active contribution towards the international process for the implementation of the Ottawa Convention. In 2016 Austria supported two projects within the scope of the Mine action: 500.000€ for mine clearance in Libya through UNMAS and 500.000€ for victim assistance in Iraq through the ICRC.
Thirteen years after the entry into force the success of the Ottawa Convention can be measured by the fact that both use and production of anti-personnel mines have clearly declined while trade has almost been brought to a halt. Major stockpiles have been destroyed and large contaminated areas have been cleared of mines. While the number of mine victims had steadily decreased, 2015 saw an increase of these numbers due to the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq and Syria.
As stipulated by the Cartagena Action Plan adopted in 2009, assistance to mine victims remains one of the Convention’s top priorities. A major challenge in this context is the economic and social reintegration of victims and their families. From 27 to 1 December 2016, the 15th Conference of State Parties to the AMP was held in Santiago de Chile. On 1 December, Austria was chosen as Chair for the year 2017.