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Ottawa Convention

Volume 481: debated on Thursday 23 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what further steps the Government intends to take in order to meet the obligations of Article 5 of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. (228572)

The Joint Feasibility Study that we carried out with Argentina into de-mining in the Falkland Islands, completed in October 2007, concluded that clearance is technically possible but it will present significant challenges and risks.

We therefore need to carefully consider how to proceed. The Falkland Islands Government was regularly consulted while the Feasibility Study was being carried out and any future decisions will be made in consultation with the Falkland Islands Government. In compliance with the Convention, we have therefore submitted a request for a 10 year Article 5 extension to our March 2009 clearance deadline. Our request will be considered at the ninth meeting of states parties in November 2008.

In the meantime, in compliance with Article 5 of the Convention, the mined areas are clearly marked, fenced and regularly monitored.