The voluntarily, legally-binding Ottawa Convention or the Mine Ban Treaty was ratified or acceded since 1997 by 164 countries and signed by one more. This instrument was the first of its kind to ban a weapon, which had been in widespread use all over the world. Furthermore, the document not only prohibits one particular type of weapons, but also stipulates three main obligations to State Parties in order to ensure comprehensive approach in dealing with existing anti-personnel mines:
- The prohibition to use, develop, produce, acquire, stockpile retain or transfer anti-personnel mines;
- The destruction of all stock-pilled anti-personnel mines no later than four years after the ratification of the treaty;
- The destruction of all anti-personnel mines in mined areas under the country’s jurisdiction or control no later than ten years after the ratification of the treaty.
On 27 December 2005, the Ukrainian authorities have ratified the Mine Ban Treaty, which later entered into force on 1 June 2006 and, thus, established the deadlines on mines destruction by 2016. However, Ukraine did not fulfilled on time its international obligations, allegedly due to the ongoing fighting, and violates currently two main articles of the anti-personnel mine ban convention:
- Article 4 on the destruction of stockpiled anti-personnel mines: Ukraine missed its four-year deadline to complete the destruction of anti-personnel mines, with 4.9m mines remained for the liquidationby 2018;
- Article 5 on the destruction of anti-personnel mines in mined areas: Ukraine missed this deadline on 1 June 2016 without having requested its extension.