The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, better known as the Mine Ban Treaty, officially banned the use of anti-personnel landmines more than two decades ago. And to date, 164 states have committed to putting an end to the suffering caused by these deadly and indiscriminate weapons.
Those states, and others, will meet virtually this week, joined by international organisations and civil society, including MAG, for the 2021 Intersessional Meetings of the treaty.
These informal working meetings take place each year. They consider the progress made in fulfilling the treaty’s aims, including clearing and destroying anti-personnel mines, supporting victims and survivors, and encouraging international cooperation and assistance in mine action.
The programme includes plenary sessions and a series of side events which, together, cover a range of topics affecting the mine action sector: from treaty compliance to clearance and from gender and diversity to the resources needed to achieve a landmine free world.
During one of the planned plenary sessions, Jo Dresner, MAG's International Policy and Partnerships Director, will discuss the completion of landmine clearance — and the work necessary to ensure there is national capacity to deal with any residual threats which may arise in future.
MAG and the wider mine action community is consistently looking for new ways to innovate and make our programmes as effective as possible, furthering our collective positive impact on the lives of people affected by landmines and unexploded bombs around the world.
This week, MAG will host a side event, chaired by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and featuring Onyeka Onwuama and Sara Sudetic from our programmes in Nigeria and Myanmar.
The event aims to explore the innovative methodology MAG has developed to help build a better picture of landmine contamination in areas and communities that are hard to reach.
A separate event chaired by the Netherlands — this year's president of the Mine Ban Treaty — will also discuss innovations, this time in explosive ordnance risk education. Our community liaison manager in Lebanon, Ali Shuaib, will join the session to talk about MAG's innovative approaches to delivering life-saving lessons — including, among other projects, the use of clowns, puppets, virtual reality and social media.
As we edge closer to 2025 — the Mine Ban Treaty’s goal for a landmine-free world — MAG remains a leading member of the Landmine Free 2025 campaign, which will host an event considering the broader socioeconomic benefits of achieving a world without landmines.
The event will welcome representatives from Angola’s national mine action authority CNIDAH (National Intersectoral Commission for Humanitarian Demining and Assistance), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the US State Department, and Humanity & Inclusion’s Afghanistan programme.
MAG is a committed member of the civil society working group on gender and diversity. It is an issue where, despite progress in recent years, much work still needs to be done.
In 2019, states that signed up to the Mine Ban Treaty agreed to include commitments on gender for the first time in the Oslo Action Plan 2020-2025 — a significant milestone. But, with much more progress necessary, the conversation continues.
This week, Spain will chair an event hosted by the gender and diversity working group that will interrogate the progress made and consider what more must be done to achieve meaningful gender equity in the sector.
The Intersessional Meetings are a vital opportunity to assess our progress towards a landmine free 2025, raise awareness and redouble the world's efforts to free from fear the 60 million women, men, girls and boys who are still living with landmines and unexploded bombs. MAG is honoured to participate and hopeful that real progress will be made.
Follow MAG on Twitter for live updates throughout the week.