Less than six months ago, the First Meeting of States Parties to the Ottawa Convention met in Maputo, Mozambique. This was both the last step of an exciting process and the first step down a new road. The Ottawa Process, which led to a treaty that entered into force in March of this year, holds the record for several firsts: the fastest negotiation and entry into force of any arms control or disarmament treaty; the first arms control treaty to incorporate a provision for victim assistance; the notable and unusual way that the process bypassed established negotiation fora and created a broad coalition of like-minded governments, institutions and organizations; the crucial role of non-governmental organizations in the process as recognized by the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize given to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Jody Williams. With the treaty's entry into force, we celebrate the conclusion of an inspiring process.

Yet this is also a beginning. We have new challenges ahead. This issue of Disarmament Forum, Framework for a Mine-Free World, pulls together the various elements that make up the Ottawa Treaty in an attempt to focus our vision on the work ahead. Our attention must shift from "negotiation mode" to promoting implementation, universality, victim assistance, the ongoing role of NGOs, demining principles and verification. This issue of Disarmament Forum examines these topics from a number of different perspectives - economic, political, social and developmental - in an attempt to produce a more complete picture of the desired directions for landmine clearance, victim relief and post-conflict development. Gratitude goes out to all of our authors, who have worked right down to the wire to provide the up-to-date and forward-looking contributions contained herein. Additionally, I would like to thank Susan Walker, David Atwood and Steffen Kongstad for their generous help in the conception of this issue. As we go to press, the current number of ratifications stands at 86 - by the time you are reading this, we hope that number is even higher.

Citation: Kerstin Vignard (ed.) (1999). "Disarmament Forum: Framework for a Mine-free World", UNIDIR, Geneva.

Disponible aussi en français.


  • Editor’s note, Kerstin Vignard
  • Special Comment, Jody WILLIAMS
  • Landmine Survivors Speak Out, Jerry WHITE
  • Implementing Ottawa: Continuity and Change in the Roles of NGOs, David ATWOOD
  • Landmine Monitor: Citizens Verification in Action, Stephen D. GOOSE & Mary WAREHAM
  • Verification of the Ottawa Convention: Workable Hybrid or Fatal Compromise? Trevor FINDLAY
  • The Continuation of the Ottawa Process: Intersessional Work and the Role of Geneva, Steffen KONGSTAD
  • Progress on Mine Action Principles, Bill HOWELL
  • After the Mines Are Cleared, Denise COGHLAN
  • UNIDIR focus