Belgium celebrates 20th anniversary of Ottawa Convention - Together for a world without anti-personnel mines

Twenty years ago, on 18th September 1997, the Ottawa Convention on the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines and on their destruction was adopted in Oslo. The international community had a tool to end the human suffering caused by these mines.

Belgium is still firmly committed to this treaty banning anti-personnel mines. Our country played a pioneering role in their prohibition by adopting the first national legislation banning these weapons in 1995. It supported the Ottawa process, notably with the organization of the Brussels Conference in June 1997.

Nowadays, Belgium is still committed to projects of mine clearance, assistance to the victims and awareness-raising among the affected populations. In 2017, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders dedicated almost 800.000 euros to decontaminate mined areas, raise awareness and provide assistance to mine victims. Belgium is also fully invested in the Convention as a member of its Committee on Victim Assistance.

On the occasion of this anniversary, Minister Reynders highlights the results achieved thanks to the Ottawa Convention. He also underlines that anti-personnel mines continue to make innocent victims in the world and slow down development in entire regions. Together with all its partners, Belgium wishes to continue committing itself to a world without anti-personnel mines and without mine victims by 2025.

From 29th September to 19th October, the FPS Foreign Affairs, External Trade and Development Cooperation, together with Handicap International, puts on an exhibition of photographic testimonials called “For a world without mines, Belgium and Handicap International: 20 years of action”. This exhibition will be held in Brussels at the Place de l’Albertine.