The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) considers the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty the only viable comprehensive framework for achieving a mine-free world. The treaty and the global effort to eradicate antipersonnel mines have yielded impressive results. A new international norm is emerging, as many governments not party to the Mine Ban Treaty are taking steps consistent with the treaty, and an increasing number of non-state armed groups are also embracing a ban. New use of antipersonnel mines continues to decline, with compelling evidence of new use by just four governments in this Landmine Monitor reporting period (since May 2004), as well as use by non-state armed groups in 13 countries. There were no confirmed instances of antipersonnel mine transfers, as the de facto global ban on trade held tight. Six more States Parties completed destruction of their stockpiled antipersonnel mines. The global total of stockpiled antipersonnel mines destroyed in recent years by States Parties and non-States Parties is about 63 million. Landmine Monitor removed two countries from its list of antipersonnel mine producers: Egypt and Iraq.
Mine clearance and survey continued, with over 135 square kilometers of mine-affected land cleared in 37 countries and areas, and over 190,000 mines destroyed during 2004. An additional 250 square kilometers were surveyed. Several mine-affected States Parties revised their mine action strategies, in light of the treaty-deadline for destruction of all antipersonnel mines in mined areas. In some cases, both planning and progress in clearance do not appear to be on course to meet States Parties' treaty deadlines. Mine risk education programs increased, and in many cases were integrated with survey, marking and clearance activities. New mine casualties were reported in every region of the world, and the overall number of landmine survivors continued to grow, although there were fewer new casualties in 2004. At the First Review Conference, 24 States Parties were identified as having significant numbers of mine survivors, and the greatest needs for assistance in meeting their responsibilities to mine survivors.
Progress has been made, yet daunting challenges remain to universalize the Mine Ban Treaty and strengthen the norm of banning antipersonnel mines, to fully implement the treaty, to clear mines from the ground, to destroy stockpiled antipersonnel mines, and to assist mine survivors. The ICBL believes that the only real measure of the Mine Ban Treaty’s success will be the concrete impact that it has on the global antipersonnel mine problem. As with the six previous annual reports, Landmine Monitor Report 2005 provides a means of measuring that impact.
This introductory chapter provides a global overview of the current Landmine Monitor reporting period since May 2004. It contains sections on banning antipersonnel mines (universalization, treaty implementation, use, production, trade, and stockpiling), on mine action (including mine risk education), and on landmine casualties and survivor assistance.
About Landmine Monitor
This is the seventh Landmine Monitor report, the annual product of an unprecedented initiative by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) to monitor and report on implementation of and compliance with the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, and more generally, to assess the international community’s response to the humanitarian crisis caused by landmines. For the first time in history, non-governmental organizations have come together in a coordinated, systematic and sustained way to monitor a humanitarian law or disarmament treaty, and to regularly document progress and problems, thereby successfully putting into practice the concept of civil society-based verification.
Six previous annual reports have been released since 1999, each presented to the annual meetings of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty: in May 1999 in Maputo, Mozambique; in September 2000 in Geneva, Switzerland; in September 2001 in Managua, Nicaragua; in September 2002 in Geneva; in Bangkok, Thailand in September 2003; and at the First Review Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya in November-December 2004.
The Landmine Monitor system features a global reporting network and an annual report.A network of 77 Landmine Monitor researchers from 72 countries gathered information to prepare this report. The researchers come from the ICBL’s campaigning coalition and from other elements of civil society, including journalists, academics and research institutions.
Landmine Monitor is not a technical verification system or a formal inspection regime. It is an attempt by civil society to hold governments accountable to the obligations they have taken on with respect to antipersonnel mines. This is done through extensive collection, analysis and distribution of publicly available information. Although in some cases it does entail investigative missions, Landmine Monitor is not designed to send researchers into harm’s way and does not include hot war-zone reporting.
Landmine Monitor is designed to complement the States Parties transparency reporting required under Article 7 of the Mine Ban Treaty. It reflects the shared view that transparency, trust and mutual collaboration are crucial elements for successful eradication of antipersonnel mines. Landmine Monitor was also established in recognition of the need for independent reporting and evaluation.
Landmine Monitor and its annual reports aim to promote and advance discussion on mine-related issues, and to seek clarifications, in order to help reach the goal of a mine-free world. Landmine Monitor works in good faith to provide factual information about issues it is monitoring, in order to benefit the international community as a whole.
Landmine Monitor Report 2005 contains information on 112 countries and areas with respect to landmine ban policy, use, production, transfer, stockpiling, mine action funding, mine clearance, mine risk education, landmine casualties, and survivor assistance. While Landmine Monitor reports issued between 1999 and 2004 reported on every country in the world, Landmine Monitor Report 2005 focuses on mine-affected countries, States Parties with continued treaty implementation obligations, and non-States Parties. Information on mine action donor countries is included in a funding overview. Appendices with information from key players in mine action, such as UN agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, are also included.
As was the case in previous years, Landmine Monitor acknowledges that this ambitious report has its shortcomings. The Landmine Monitor is a system that is continuously updated, corrected and improved. Comments, clarifications, and corrections from governments and others are sought, in the spirit of dialogue and in the common search for accurate and reliable information on a difficult subject.
Landmine Monitor 2005 Process
In June 1998, the ICBL formally agreed to create Landmine Monitor as an ICBL initiative. A four-member Editorial Board coordinates the Landmine Monitor system: Mines Action Canada, Handicap International, Human Rights Watch, and Norwegian People’s Aid. Mines Action Canada serves as the lead agency. The Editorial Board assumes overall responsibility for, and decision-making on, the Landmine Monitor system.
Research grants for Landmine Monitor Report 2005 were awarded in March 2005, following a meeting of the Editorial Board in Ottawa, Canada in February 2005. Thematic Research Coordinators and Research Specialists met in Brussels, Belgium in April 2005 to exchange information, assess what research and data gathering had already taken place, identify gaps, and ensure common research methods and reporting mechanisms for the Monitor. In April and May 2005, draft research reports were submitted to the Landmine Monitor Thematic Research Coordinators for review and comment. In June 2005, Research Specialists and a group of researchers met in Geneva, Switzerland to discuss final reports and major findings with Thematic Research Coordinators. From June to September, Landmine Monitor’s team of Thematic Research Coordinators verified sources and edited country reports, with a team at Mines Action Canada taking responsibility for final fact-checking, editing, and assembly of the entire report. This report was printed during October and presented to the Sixth Meeting of States Parties to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty in Zagreb, Croatia from 28 November to 2 December 2005.
 As of 1 October 2005.
 The ICBL generally uses the short title, Mine Ban Treaty; other short titles in use include: Ottawa Treaty, Ottawa Convention, Antipersonnel Mine Ban Convention, and Mine Ban Convention.