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close this bookBanning Anti-Personnel Mines - The Ottawa Treaty Explained (International Committee of the Red Cross , 1998, 24 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contents1. The landmine problem and progress towards a ban treaty
Open this folder and view contents2. The Ottawa treaty
View the document3. Beyond the Ottawa treaty
View the documentAnnex I: Glossary of legal and technical terms
View the documentAnnex II: Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction
View the documentAnnex III: List of Signatories as at 1 March 1999*
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Annex I: Glossary of legal and technical terms

Accession - A one-step process for becoming bound by a treaty for countries that have not signed it before it enters into force. Once a treaty is in force, States may only “accede” to it and do not need to sign.

Adherence - A general term meaning that a country has followed the necessary procedure in order to bind itself to a treaty.

Entry into force - The point in time when a treaty becomes legally binding on a particular State. The Ottawa treaty will enter into force six months after 40 countries have formally consented to be bound by it. At that time the treaty will become legally binding only for those 40 countries. For countries adhering at a later date, the treaty will enter into force six months after formal consent has been given.

International humanitarian law - The body of international law governing armed conflict. It includes rules on the conduct of hostilities and related issues which may arise, such as the protection of prisoners of war and civilians not involved in the fighting. This law derives from customary practices and international treaties. Traditionally, it was referred to as the “law of war” or the “international law of armed conflict”.

Parties to a conflict - The opposing sides in an armed conflict. They can include the armed forces of a country, guerrilla forces, or other organized armed groups participating in the hostilities.

Ratification, acceptance, or approval - Formal consent to be bound by a treaty following signature. In the case of the Ottawa treaty, a country must deposit its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval with the depositary of the treaty, which is the UN Secretary-General.

Self-deactivating mine - A mine designed to render itself inert after a certain time period, normally by exhaustion of the battery connected to its fuse.

Self-destructing mine - A mine designed to blow itself up after a specific time period.

Signature - Once a treaty has been negotiated and the final draft adopted, it is open for signature to those countries involved in the negotiations. Generally, signature does not bind the country to the treaty, but only indicates that it approves of the final text, agrees not to do anything to undermine the purpose of the treaty, and intends formally to accept its provisions in the future. Formal consent to be bound by the treaty following signature is referred to as ratification, acceptance or approval.

State Party - A country for which a treaty has formally entered into force.