Plenary session of the fourth conference review of the mine ban treaty at Oslo - November 2019 | © G. Lordet / HI
The Fourth Review Conference for a Mine Free World, which HI participated in, closed on Friday 29 November in Oslo, Norway. State Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty adopted a five-year action plan to ensure mine clearance and other treaty obligations are met by 2025.
The conference drew more than 700 participants: state delegations, UN institutions and NGOs - including members of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL).
A strong and comprehensive Action Plan was adopted containing 50 points that will guide the work of State Parties for the next five years. HI contributed to the action plan managing to include a strong commitment to providing victim assistance.
"Mine-free does not mean victim-free: in many countries declared free of mines, victims will need assistance for the rest of their lives. States need to ensure assistance actually reaches survivors and that services are adequate, accessible and sustainable." HI Advocacy Manager Alma Al Osta
During the conference, Chile announced that it will be declared free of mines in just a few months time, after nearly two decades of mine clearance work. The Democratic Republic of the Congo said it could finish its mine clearance by 2021 if it receives the necessary funds from the international community to do so. Thailand has destroyed over 3,000 anti-personnel mines it had retained for permitted purposes. Cambodia, where heavy contamination and many victims led to the founding of ICBL in 1992, will be mine-free in 2025.
Seven countries requested additional time to clear mine-contaminated areas: Argentina, Cambodia, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Tajikistan, and Yemen.
Nigeria, which was declared free of mines in 2011, said it has been experiencing the “tragic consequences of the production and use of anti-personnel mines of an improvised nature by non-state actors.” With Nigeria acknowledging the contamination, the number of states having to clear mined areas grew to 33 (nine of them in Africa).
According to the Landmine Monitor 2019, the use of improvised mines is on the rise and caused 54% (3,789) of the total of casualties in 2018 (6,897)
During the closing day of the conference the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway handed over the Convention Presidency to Sudan.
 Co-founded by HI in 1992, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) is a coalition of non-governmental organizations whose stated objective is a world free of anti-personnel mines. HI and ICBL were co-Nobel Price in 1997.