Obligations under international conventions
BiH is a contracting party to several international conventions and treaties, having committed to fulfil all its obligations in a manner which is fully effective and efficient. Namely, these are the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) that prohibits the use, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster bombs, Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. BiH obliged to conduct the Maputo Action Plan for the implementation of obligations arising from Ottawa Convention and Action Plan Dubrovnik for the implementation of obligations arising from the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Relevant actions from these action plans are mentioned throughout this Strategy.
The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction
After BiH ratified the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction in 1998, the Convention came into force in March 1999, and set March 1 2009 as the deadline for registering and destruction of all antipersonnel mines on mined area in its own jurisdiction. In its first report delivered in February 2000 in accordance with Article 7 of the Convention (Transparency measures), BiH reported to have completed destructions of all antipersonnel mines in its ownership or possession or jurisdiction or control.
In March 2008, BiH submitted for the first time the request for the extension of this deadline; the BiH request was approved on the Ninth Meeting of the State Signatories, having set March 1 as the new deadline. In accordance with Article 5 of the Convention (and in accordance with the 10-years extension countries signatories to the Convention approved in 2008), BiH is obligated to destroy all the antipersonnel mines as soon as possible, and no later than March 1 2019. However, BiH is not able to fulfill all its obligations arising from Article 5 by that deadline. Therefore, BiH created a new request for extension of this deadline ,that was officially submitted to the Committee on Article 5 Implementation in March 2018. Request was considered and accepted during the 17th Meeting of States Parties held in November 2018.
In period 23-27 June, over 1,000 representatives of States and international and non-governmental organizations met in Maputo, Mozambique, to chart the path forward in the global effort to end the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel mines.
Convention on Cluster Munition
The Convention on Cluster Munition has been signed by BiH in December 2008, ratified in September 2010, and it came into force in March 2011. In August 2011, BiH delivered its first report arising from Article 7 of the Convention (Transparency measures) and it has been delivering annual reports in accordance to the obligations from the Convention ever since. For Bosnia and Herzegovina, the deadline arising from Article 4. (1) of the Convention is March 1, 2021; the key actors believe BiH can fulfill this obligation by the end of the deadline.
The Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons
Bosnia and Herzegovina ratified the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons in September 1993; as for the Amended Protocol II and Protocol V were ratified in September 2000, i.e. November 2007. BiH delivered its annual reports in accordance with Paragraph 5 of the Decision on Compliance, adopted on the Third Review Conference, held in 2012, and then in 2015 and 2016.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
BiH became the contracting party to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol after having signed the Convention in 2009 and ratifying it in March 2010. BiH delivered the report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in March 2013.[Both entities in BiH have created their strategies for improvement of the conditions for persons with disability.
Security Council Approves First Stand-Alone Text on Mine Action, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2365
Expressing its deep concern over the number of civilians killed or maimed by landmines, improvised devices and other deadly remnants of war, the Security Council today called on the international community to end the carnage by acceding to regulatory treaties and supporting physical removal of such explosives.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2365 (2017), the first stand-alone text on mine action, the Council called upon all parties to armed conflicts to “end immediately and definitively any indiscriminate use of explosive devices in violation of international humanitarian law”, as well as to take steps to protect civilian population from the threat through education, rehabilitation and other measures.
It also called on all Member States to abide by their international obligations related to mine action, and on States, international organizations, civil society and other stakeholders to provide assistance in mine clearance upon request of States.
The full text of resolution 2365 (2017) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its resolutions 1590 (2005), 2102 (2013), 2295 (2016), 2299 (2016), 2305 (2016), 2327 (2016), 2338 (2017) and 2339 (2017), which mandate United Nations mine-action-related activities in peacekeeping operations and special political missions,
“Recalling reports of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations of the General Assembly, which have provided guidance to the United Nations Secretariat on improvised explosive device threat and impact reduction,
“Taking note of General Assembly resolutions 71/72 and 70/80, by which Member States decided to continue to include on the agenda of the General Assembly issues related to assistance in mine action and countering the threat posed by improvised explosive devices,
“Recalling also all relevant treaties and conventions related to mine action, their implementation and their review processes, by the respective parties,
“Expressing deep concern at the serious and lasting threat to civilians posed by landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices long after the end of conflict,
“Expressing deep concern about the number of civilians, including children, killed or maimed by landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices, in conflict and post conflict situations,
“Expressing deep concern to the serious humanitarian threat, posed to civilians by landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices in affected countries, which has serious and lasting social and economic consequences for the populations of such countries, as well as of personnel participating in law enforcement, humanitarian, peacekeeping, rehabilitation and clearance programmes and operations,
“Noting with grave concern that the indiscriminate use of improvised explosive devices, including by terrorists, remains a major threat to the civilian population, including refugees returning to their homes, the safety of peacekeeping personnel, and the effective implementation of mission mandates,
“Remaining seriously concerned over insecurity that is exacerbated by the presence of landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices, which threatens the peace, security and stability of States and hinders humanitarian access and the provision of assistance, and impedes sustainable economic development,
“Recognizing that mine action enhances the mobility and safety of peacekeepers and humanitarian workers and contributes to the protection of civilians and supports stabilization and peacebuilding efforts,
“Recognizing the primary role of States, as well as the supporting role of the United Nations, including the coordination role of the United Nation Mine Action Service, within the United Nations System, as well as other relevant organizations, in the mitigation of dangers posed to civilians by landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices,
“Appreciating that partnership and cooperation are central to the success of mine action, particularly between national authorities, the United Nations, regional organizations, civil society, and private sector,
“Recognizing the continued progress made to survey and clear landmines, explosive remnants of war, and improvised explosive devices, to provide risk education to affected populations, and to support to victims,
“Recalling the continued efforts by Member States, as well as the United Nations system, relevant institutions, and other stake holders, to provide the necessary information and technical, financial and material assistance to locate, remove, mark, monitor, record and retain information on, clear, destroy or otherwise render ineffective minefields, mines, booby-traps, other devices, including improvised explosive devices, and explosive remnants of war, in accordance with each State’s respective international legal obligations, and emphasizing the need to enhance coordination and information-sharing with the relevant stake holders, on a voluntary basis,
“Expressing grave concern over cases where weapons, including landmines and improvised explosive devices, are being used in any manner that violates international humanitarian law,
“1. Expresses grave concern over the threat that landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices pose to civilians, refugees returning to their homes, as well as to peacekeepers, humanitarian personnel, civilian personnel, and law enforcement personnel, and stresses the need to undertake appropriate measures to mitigate this danger effectively;
“2. Calls on all parties to armed conflicts to end immediately and definitively any indiscriminate use of explosive devices in violation of international humanitarian law;
“3. Urges parties to armed conflicts to protect civilian populations, including children, from the threats posed by landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices and, in this regard, encourages the international community to advocate and support efforts to clear these devices, to provide risk education, and to conduct risk reduction activities, as well as to provide assistance for the care, rehabilitation and economic and social reintegration of victims and persons with disabilities;
“4. Stresses the importance of ensuring, where appropriate, that peacekeeping operations, are equipped, informed, and trained to reduce the threat posed by landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices;
“5. Calls upon Member States to comply with their respective international obligations related to mine action;
“6. Calls upon Member States, and relevant United Nations entities, in accordance with their mandates, as well as international actors and civil society, and relevant stake holders, in a position to do so, to provide assistance to clear landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices, upon request of States;
“7. Recognizes in this regard, the efforts made by donors and affected States and encourages them, where appropriate, to further strengthen national capacities, to mitigate effectively the threat posed to civilians by landmines, explosive remnants of war, and improvised explosive devices;
“8. Encourages efforts by all actors to conduct mine action activities in accordance with standards consistent with the international mine action standards, including at the national level, on a voluntary basis;
“9. Recognizes the positive contribution that mine action activities make to stabilization and peace sustainment efforts in the aftermath of conflict and encourages its inclusion, where appropriate, in relevant cease fire and peace agreements;
“10. Stresses the importance of considering mine action during the earliest stages of planning and programming in peacekeeping operations and special political missions, where appropriate, as well as humanitarian emergency responses, taking into account relevant gender and age specific considerations, particularly in survey methodology, victim assistance and risk education;
“11. Recognizes the role of the United Nations, including the coordination role of the United Nations Mine Action Service within the United Nations system, in mitigating the dangers posed by landmines, explosive remnants of war, and improvised explosive devices, including through emergency responses and coordination of international actors and encourages their continued involvement, where appropriate, particularly to implement relevant mandates authorized by the Security Council;
“12. Encourages States and organizations, in a position to do so, to remain actively engaged in the support of increased technical, advisory, and operational capacity in mine action, including by assisting affected States and relevant actors in the United Nations system;
“13. Welcomes the continued partnership and cooperation between the regional and sub regional organizations, especially the African Union and the United Nations, to mitigate the threat to civilians from landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices, including through the Joint Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security;
“14. Takes note of the ongoing elaboration of the United Nations Improvised Explosive Device Disposal Standards by national technical experts coordinated with the United Nations Mine Action Service, and stresses the need for intensified consultation with relevant stake holders as part of this process;
“15. Requests the Secretary-General, to provide the Security Council with information on threats posed by landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices, and measures to mitigate these threats, when reporting on peacekeeping operations, special political missions, and humanitarian responses in areas where landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices, present a threat;
“16. Also requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Security Council a report on the implementation of the present resolution, when appropriate, within the next year;
“17. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”