NZ Ratifies Anti-personnel Mines Ban

  • Don McKinnon
Disarmament and Arms Control

New Zealand has ratified the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel mines, Disarmament and Arms Control Minister Don McKinnon announced today.

New Zealand's formal instrument of ratification was deposited with the United Nations in New York yesterday.

"It is a crime to be involved with the use, stockpiling, production or trade in anti-personnel mines anywhere in New Zealand territory," Mr McKinnon said.

"Ratification shows our commitment to the ban remains as strong as ever. I look forward to New Zealand playing a constructive role at the first Conference of States Parties to the Convention in Maputo, Mozambique, in May."

Mr McKinnon acknowledged the role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the international campaign.

"This has been a unique international movement. New Zealanders have played a significant role internationally in efforts to negotiate a ban on anti-personnel mines. They have been supported back home by the New Zealand Campaign Against Landmines (CALM) and many other groups," he said.

Mr McKinnon called on countries that had not yet signed the Ottawa Convention to do so as soon as possible.

The Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction was adopted in late 1997. New Zealand signed the Convention on 3 December 1997, the day it opened for signature. Legislation giving effect to the provisions of the Convention in New Zealand law was enacted in December 1998.