Twenty Years After Ottawa: ‘Unpacking’ Mine Action in Peace Agreements

Forster, R. (2019). Twenty Years After Ottawa: ‘Unpacking’ Mine Action in Peace Agreements. Journal of Peacebuilding and Development.

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About: Mine action is essential for long-term peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction. Using new data, this paper explores the nexus between mine action and peace processes, providing an analysis of trends in the inclusion of mine action provisions in peace agreements. Initial findings indicate that the inclusion of mine action provisions within peace agreements have remained relatively stable at 9.6% over 26 years. This is the case, regardless of efforts by United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in promoting the inclusion of mine action in ceasefire and peace agreements. Thus, the inclusion of mine action in peace agreements appears determined by the perceived pragmatic needs required to be addressed by conflict parties. Nonetheless, around the ratification period of the 1997 Ottawa Treaty there was a small peak in the percentage of agreements that referenced mine action. Other trends indicate that mine action is more prevalent in inter-state rather than intra-state peace agreements, that NGOs have begun to take a greater role in the negotiation of mine-action specific agreements, and that there is a greater diffusion of mine action awareness to local-level peace agreements.

Keywords: landmines; mine action; peace agreements; Ottawa Convention; peace processes; treaties

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