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Convention banning landmines enters into force for Finland

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Geneva – Today, the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention, has entered into force for Finland which is now bound to never, under any circumstances, use, produce or transfer anti-personnel mines and to destroy its existing stockpile of mines within four years.

“We will fully comply with the obligations of the Convention,” affirmed Finland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Erkki Tuomioja, noting that “the key obligation under the treaty for Finland, is to destroy its anti-personnel mines by 2016.”

“We have always promoted the Ottawa Convention’s objectives,” added Minister Tuomioja. “The Government of Finland started funding of humanitarian mine action in 1991. Since the entry into force of the Ottawa Convention in 1999, Finland has contributed over 80 million euro to humanitarian mine action. In spite of pressure for budget cuttings, Finland will continue its funding to humanitarian mine action and in fact, we are hoping to increase mine action funding to reach 6 million euro annually by 2014.”

Finland deposited its instrument of accession with the United Nations Secretary-General on 9 January 2009; in accordance with treaty provisions, the Convention becomes binding international law for Finland today (the first day of the sixth month following the deposit of a State’s instrument of accession.)

With Finland having joined the Convention, all member States of the European Union with the exception of Poland have ratified or acceded to the Convention.

To date 160 States have joined the Convention. Three months after Finland deposited its instrument of accession, Somalia did the same. The Convention will enter into force for Somalia on 1 October 2012.

The AP Mine Ban Convention was adopted in Oslo in 1997, opened for signature in Ottawa the same year and entered into force on 1 March, 1999.

1 July 2012

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