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SOAS students host disarmament meeting in Geneva

16 May 2014

SOAS students Bodil Jacobsen, Kevin Miletic and Alexandra Tsamados organised and chaired a side meeting at the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Intercessional Meetings on 9 April 2014. The students are part of project SCRAP – Strategic Concept for the Removal of Arms and Proliferation – a General and Complete Disarmament (GCD) initiative hosted at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy.

The meeting, entitled ‘Realising Disarmament: The Mine Ban Treaty in the context of General and Complete Disarmament’ was attended by Ambassador Thomas Hajnoczi (Permanent Representative of Austria to UNOG), Tammy Hall (Head of Mine Action Portfolio, Danish Demining Group) and Dan Plesch (Director of SCRAP and CISD).

Ambassador Hajnoczi was part of the Austrian delegation that assisted in drafting the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention in 1997. The convention, also known as the Ottawa Treaty or Mine Ban Treaty, is one of the most successful disarmament treaties. Throughout its existence, it has proven its strength in terms of its number of signatories, successful ratification and implementation. In the history of disarmament, the Mine Ban Treaty was one of the first concrete results of civil society campaigning which led to a ban on a conventional weapon.

The meeting focussed on how the Mine Ban Treaty has supported the overall aim of General and Complete Disarmament. It explored how to transfer lessons learned from the Mine Ban Treaty to broader disarmament issues and discussed SCRAP, which looks to implement best practises from existing treaties like the Mine Ban Treaty to realise General and Complete Disarmament.

A report of the event will be made available on the SCRAP website.