Andrews delighted at entry into force of Landmines Treaty
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. David Andrews T.D., has expressed his delight at the news that Burkina Faso yesterday became the 40th country to ratify the Ottawa Convention.
"We have just witnessed a momentous event on the road to the elimination of landmines and the alleviation of their consequences. With the deposit late last night of the fortieth instrument of ratification the entry into force of the Ottawa Treaty on 1 March 1999 has been triggered with certainty. We now have a total ban treaty; that is a fact of international law," the Minister said
The Minister continued, "We still have a long road ahead of us, however. Forty contracting states was the number of states parties required for entry into force. We need - if not the one hundred and eighty five member states of the United Nations - a moral majority of States to make this a universal norm."
He said that "it is a unique achievement in the ratification of international treaties to have achieved the trigger point for the Convention before the first anniversary of the conclusion of the negotiation of the Convention. When we began the Ottawa process two years ago few would have believed we would have achieved the long cherished dream of a total ban on anti-personnel mines in such a short period".
In conclusion the Minister said, "As treaty negotiations give way to landmine destruction, and as we tackle the alleviation of the consequences of their use, you must set yourselves new goals and new tasks. This meeting in Dublin will set some of those tasks. The assurance that the Convention is about to enter into force opens up possibilities we have been seeking for so long. Let us now use it to the full."