25 - South Asia Regional Seminar on Landmines, Wadduwa, Sri Lanka, 18–20 August 1999  pp. 652-656

South Asia Regional Seminar on Landmines, Wadduwa, Sri Lanka, 18–20 August 1999

By Louis Maresca and Stuart Maslen

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Organized by the ICRC

The South Asia Regional Seminar on Landmines marked the first time that senior officials from the region gathered to discuss the landmines issue. Participants included representatives from the ministries of foreign affairs and defence of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Discussions were held on a wide range of topics, including the historical use of mines in South Asia, the use of mines and improvised explosive devices by non-State actors, the military utility of and alternatives to antipersonnel mines and the developing norms on the control and prohibition of the weapon. At the time of the meeting few States in the region were parties to the Ottawa treaty or the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. Yet all participants recognized the humanitarian consequences associated with anti-personnel mines and the need to respond positively to the international movement towards the weapon's elimination. As several countries in the region were reluctant to renounce immediate use of anti-personnel mines, preferring a more gradual approach, the meeting also examined incremental measures which could be taken at a national or a regional level to further their elimination. Many of these proposals were favourably received and participants agreed to pursue their consideration in their respective capitals.

South Asia Regional Seminar on Landmines

Wadduwa, Sri Lanka

18–20 August 1999

Summary Report

The South Asia Regional Seminar on Landmines was held 18 to 20 August in Wadduwa, Sri Lanka. Participants included senior officials from ministries of foreign affairs and ministries of defence of Bang ladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as well as international and non-governmental organizations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and independent experts from within and outside of the region.