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20 November 2023

21st Meeting of the States Parties of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention

Geneva – The 21st Meeting of the States Parties of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) – the world’s largest gathering of mine action experts and state officials – is taking place this week.  As the President of the Convention, Germany has led on the three thematic priorities:  

   - universal ratification of the APMBC  

   - mines of an improvised nature or improvised explosive devices (IEDs) 

   - individualised approaches for clearance that match national priorities and needs. 

An inclusive, gender-responsive approach and environmental aspects have also been prioritised as cross-cutting elements to strengthen APMBC implementation.  

One of the requests to be considered at the meeting is Ukraine’s request to extend its deadline to complete clearance of mine-contaminated areas by ten years. In the last year, there has been a ten-fold increase in casualties from landmines and explosive remnants of war in Ukraine.  

As part of updates on progress in article 5 implementation, Colombia, Iraq, Mauritania, Senegal, Somalia, and Türkiye will present updated workplans toward completion. States Parties will also elect the President of the Fifth Review Conference, which will take place in Cambodia in December 2024. 

The 21st Meeting of the States Parties of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention is taking place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, from 20-24 November 2023, under the presidency of Ambassador Thomas Göbel of Germany. 

The GICHD at #MSP21 

The GICHD contributes to the meeting’s deliberations through several statements in plenary sessions, including remarks by the President of the GICHD Council of Foundation, Dr Barbara Hearing, during the ceremonial opening of the meeting and by the Director, Ambassador Stefano Toscano, on international cooperation and assistance, saying, “The mine action sector has achieved remarkable success. In addition to the 30 States Parties having declared completion under Article 5, some others are no longer far from implementing the Convention's time-bound obligations. New success stories can indeed be achieved if we all continue to provide targeted and impactful support to affected States Parties.” 

In cooperation with Germany, the Centre hosted a side event on Mitigating the Risks IED Contamination – Challenges and Good Practice on Monday, 20 November. The growing safety threats posed by mines of an improvised nature were acknowledged formally by the 4th Review Conference and reflected in Action 21 of the Oslo Action Plan. This side event provides a platform for participants to share lessons learned and best practices on IED response and disposal, including incorporating IMAS 09.31 into national mine action standards. 

The Centre will host three more side events:  

  1. Gender Matters in the Convention: Taking Stock of Progress and Looking Ahead with UNIDIR and the Permanent Mission of Germany;  
  2. Mainstreaming Climate Change and the Environment into the Convention: The Road to the Fifth Review Conference;  
  3. Walking the Talk: Implementing Sustainable Localised Mine Action with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Knowledge Platform Security and Rule of Law, the Danish Refugee Council, The HALO Trust, the Health and Social Care Organization, and the Mine Clearance Planning Agency. 

Finally, the GICHD will contribute to individualised approach meetings on Somalia, Tajikistan and Türkiye.