The Ottawa Treaty or the Mine Ban Treaty, formally the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, bans completely all anti-personnel landmines (AP-mines).

Responding to a challenge issued by Canada in October 1996, 122 countries stated their intention to implement the Treaty on 3 December 1997. Forty ratifications are required for a treaty to come into effect and become international law. The Ottawa treaty entered into force and became binding among the ratifying states on 1 March 1999. After that date, each additional country becomes bound six months after its instrument is deposited. At that point the country is considered to be a party to the Treaty.

As of January 2011, 156 countries have signed and ratified the Treaty. Poland and the Marshall Islands have signed but not ratified.  Thirty-seven states, including the People’s Republic of China, India, Pakistan, Russia and the United States have not signed.

For more information, please read about the Ottawa Treaty at the UN website.

The tenth anniversary of the Ottawa Treaty was in 2007.   Today there is much work left to be done in convincing some of the world’s major powers to sign the Treaty.  In 2009, President Barack Obama was called on to join the treaty, though he has followed the policy of his predecessors in refusing to sign the Treaty.