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Land Mines

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the UK's progress towards meeting the Ottawa Convention's requirements on the removal of anti-personnel landmines from its territory. (276835)

Under the Ottawa convention the UK has an obligation to clear the 117 mined areas in the Falkland Islands by March 2019. The Government's decision to proceed with clearance of selected mined areas was announced at the November 2008 Meeting of States Parties to the Ottawa Convention. The procurement process to carry out this de-mining is under way. A National Mine Action Authority (NMAA), which includes representatives from the Falkland Islands Government, has been established to oversee this operation. The NMAA is currently drafting National Mine Action Standards to ensure the effectiveness and safety of the clearance operation.

The aim is to commence the de-mining operation by the end of 2009.