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Landmine Monitor Report 2004: Toward a Mine-Free World.

Landmine Monitor Report 2004: Toward a Mine-Free World, by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, publ. by Human Rights Watch, 2004, ISBN 1-56432-327-7, 1341 pp., paperback, $45.00 (US). Copies can be ordered by going to http://www.icbl.org/lm/order/. The report is also available on-line at http://www.icbl.org/lm/2004/report.html.

Since the international treaty prohibiting antipersonnel landmines took effect five years ago, use of mines around the world has fallen dramatically, global funding for mines action programs has increased more than 80 per cent, more than 1,100 square kilometres of land has been cleared, and the number of new mine victims each year has decreased markedly, according to Landmine Monitor Report 2004.

There are 143 States Parties to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, which entered into force on 1 March 1999. At a additional nine countries have signed but not yet ratified the treaty, that prohibits the use, production, trade, and stockpiling of antipersonnel mines, and requires clearance of mined areas within ten years. Since the last Landmine Monitor report, nine countries have joined the treaty, including Burundi and Sudan, which are both significantly mine-affected; and Belarus, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro, and Turkey, which are also mine-affected and combined have over ten million stockpiled antipersonnel mines to destroy.

The Landmine Monitor Report 2004 cites evidence of use of antipersonnel mines by four governments since May 2003: Georgia, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, and Russia. In contrast, the first report, Landmine Monitor Report 1999, identified 15 governments using antipersonnel mines in the 1998/1999 reporting period. Forty-two countries remain outside of the Mine Ban Treaty, including China, Russia, and the United States, most of the Middle East, most of the former Soviet republics, and many Asian states. In February 2004, the United States abandoned its long-held goal of eventually eliminating all antipersonnel mines and joining the treaty.

According to the 2004 report, 83 countries are mine-affected, including 52 States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty. The Mine Ban Treaty, requires States Parties to clear all mined areas within tell years of joining the treaty. States Parties that have declared completion of mine clearance since 1999 include Bulgaria (October 19991, Moldova (August 2000), Costa Rica (December 2002), Czech Republic (April 2003), Djibouti (January 2004), and, most recently. Honduras (June 2004).

The number of reported new mine casualties declined in the majority of mine-affected countries in 2003, and dropped significantly in some heavily mined countries such as Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka. Landmine Monitor identified 8,068 new casualties caused by landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) in 2003, compared to 8,333 in 2002. However, many casualties go unreported and Landmine Monitor estimates there are now between 15,000 and 20,000 new casualties annually around the world.

The major progress in the past five years in preventing antipersonnel mines from being laid and in clearing existing minefields has not been matched in the area of victim assistance. Landmine Monitor reports that while global mine action funding has increased greatly since 1999, identifiable resources for mine victim assistance have actually declined (US$29.8-million in 1999 compared to US$28.2-million in 2003). Resources for victim assistance as a percentage of total mine action funding have decreased significantly and steadily from 14.9 per cent in 1999 to 8.3 per cent in 2003.

Landmine Monitor Report 2004: Toward a Mine-Free World is the sixth annual report by the ICBL. It contains information on landmine use, production, trade, stockpiling, demining, casualties, and victim assistance in every country of the world. This year's 1,300-page report is a special edition covering the past five years, in anticipation of the first five-year Review Conference for the Mine Ban Treaty.

The Landmine Monitor initiative is coordinated by a "Core Group" of five ICBL organizations: Human Rights Watch (the lead organization), Handicap International, Kenya Coalition Against Landmines, Mines Action Canada, and Norwegian People's Aid. A total of 110 Landmine Monitor researchers in 93 countries systematically collected and analyzed information from a wide variety of sources for this comprehensive report.
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Title Annotation:Book Notices
Publication:Ploughshares Monitor
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2005
Words:682
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