Anti-personnel Mines Prohibition Bill

  • Doug Graham

One year after New Zealand signed the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel mines, Parliament has passed the legislation enabling this country to ratify the convention.

Justice Minister, Rt Hon D.A.M. Graham said this further step underlines New Zealand's absolute commitment to the international campaign against land mines. It also acknowledges New Zealand's dedication to its work with the United Nations to clear these horrific weapons from areas of conflict, he said.

The Ottawa Convention bans all use, development, production, stockpiling and trade in anti-personnel mines and requires the destruction of any stock-piles of these weapons.

The Anti-Personnel Mines Prohibition Bill, enabling ratification by New Zealand, was passed by Parliament yesterday.

Mr Graham said the speed with which New Zealand has moved to ratify the Convention recognised the magnitude of the issue and was a tribute to the energy and perseverence of those who have campaigned for it.

"Enactment of this bill will underscore New Zealand's abhorrence of the humanitarian crisis that anti-personnel mines continue to cause internationally," he said

New Zealand has been closely involved with the international campaign which led to the Ottawa Convention, having renounced the use of anti-personnel mines itself in 1996. Mr Graham said New Zealand will continue to voice that message internationally and will attend the first conference of Ottawa Convention signatories, in mine-infested Mozambique, in 1999.