Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva, Switzerland
Address: Chemin des Fins 2, Case Postale 102, 1211 Geneva 19 - Telephone: 022 799 9100 - Fax: 022 799 9178

Mine Ban Convention
2013 Intersessional Meeting

Article 3 – Update on land mines retained for training and research

Statement by Australia
30 May 2013

Thank you Mr Co-Chair

Australia remains committed to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention and encourages Member States to comply with its provisions relating to the destruction of operational stocks of Anti-Personnel Landmines.

As we have stated before, Australia’s operational stocks of anti-personnel land mines were destroyed more than a decade ago.

As permitted by the Convention and domestic legislation, Australia has retained stocks of anti-personnel land mines for training and research purposes. Australia continues to report on these training and research anti-personnel land mines on an annual basis.

Australia views retention of anti-personnel land mines as essential for Australian Defence Force training requirements, including the destruction and disposal of anti-personnel land mines; mine awareness and countermine training; and to undertake research into the effects of anti-personnel land mines.

The amount of anti-personnel land mines retained by the Australian Defence Force when Australia ratified the Convention was based originally on the expected requirements of the Army and Defence Science and Technological Organisation.

It should also be noted that ADF doctrine in the 1990s – when the decision about numbers of anti-personnel land mines to be retained for training purposes was made – was primarily focused on conventional conflicts in which anti-personnel land mines might be deployed against the Australian Defence Force. However, in the past decade, the use of anti-personnel land mines for training purposes has been less than was anticipated in the late 1990s.

In 2012, the Australian Defence Force conducted a review of anti-personnel land mine training and research stocks and 50 per cent of the remaining stock was destroyed. Therefore, as at the end of 2012, the Australian Defence Force retained 3,134 anti-personnel land mines. In total, around 70% of the stock originally retained when Australia ratified the Convention has been destroyed.

In addition, all 100 serviceable detonator assemblies previously held by Australia were also destroyed. It is anticipated that further reductions will take place over the next few years.

Thank you.