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Common Terms and Definitions

Term Definition Reference
Anti-personnel Mine Ban Treaty The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, was opened for signature in Ottawa, Canada, 3 December 1997, and is commonly known as the Ottawa Convention. For more information:
http://www.icbl.org/
treaty/text/english
CCW, Amended Protocol II Protocol II of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, amended 3 May 1996, to strengthen its provisions, addresses the effects of mines and booby traps on civilians after conflicts end.
CCW, Protocol V Protocol V of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons addresses the effects of explosive remnants of war, including unexploded cluster munitions, on civilians after conflicts end.
Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW or CCCW) Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects was opened for signature in Geneva, Switzerland, on 10 October 1980. For more information:
http://treaties.un.org/doc/Treaties/
1983/12/19831202%2001-19%20AM/
Ch_XXVI_02p.pdf
Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) A complete ban on cluster munitions with victim-assistance and decontamination information standards, the CCM was adopted in Dublin by 107 states on 30 May 2008. See also Oslo Process. For more information:
http://www.clusterconvention.org
.
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on 13 December 2006, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was opened for signature on 30 March 2007, and entered into force with the 20th ratification on 3 May 2008. For more information:
http://www.un.org/disabilities/
Deed of Commitment The Deed of Commitment for Adherence to a Total Ban on Anti-personnel Mines and for Cooperation in Mine Action is the anti-personnel mine ban for nongovernmental entities, provided by the organization Geneva Call. Geneva Call encourages non-state actors to respect humanitarian norms by signing and adhering to this Deed of Commitment. For more information:
http://www.genevacall.org/
home.htm
Department Departments are subdivided portions of a country, much like a state or province.
Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Considered a successful strategy for peacekeeping operations, disarmament refers to the physical removal of weapons from ex-combatants; demobilization refers to the breaking up of armed groups; and reintegration entails the reintroduction of former combatants to society without the threat of future armed conflict.
Explosive Remnants of War (ERW)/Landmines Some organizations consider mines and explosive remnants of war to be two separate entities, since they are regulated by different legal documents (the former by the Ottawa Convention and Amended Protocol II of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, the latter by CCW Protocol V). However, since mines are explosive devices that have similar effects to other ERW, and it is often impossible to separate the two during clearance operations, some in the community have adopted a “working definition” (as opposed to a legal one) of ERW. This working definition is a blanket term that includes mines, UXO, abandoned explosive ordnance and other explosive devices.
Geneva Conventions The Geneva Conventions are international treaties on the laws of the conduct of war. For more information:
http://www.geneva
conventions.org/
International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) The IMAS provide the framework of international standards and guidelines for mine clearance and were developed to improve effectiveness, efficiency and safety in mine action. For more information:
http://www.mineaction
standards.org
.
Improvised Explosive Device (IED) An IED is an explosive device that has been modified or fabricated in an unconventional way; contains lethal, destructive, or incendiary chemicals; and is used to kill, harm or destroy. Existing since World War II, IEDs have recently been used heavily in Afghanistan, Colombia and Iraq, largely to wage unconventional warfare.
Irregular Warfare (IW) According to the U.S. Department of Defense, irregular warfare is “A violent struggle among state and non-state actors for legitimacy and influence over the relevant populations. IW favors indirect and asymmetric approaches, though it may employ the full range of military and other capabilities, in order to erode an adversary’s power, influence, and will.” For more information:
http://www.fas.org/irp/
doddir/dod/iw-joc.pdf
Land Release According to the most recent IMAS (8.20 Draft Edition, 10 June 2009), the term Land Release describes the process of applying all reasonable effort to identify or better define Confirmed Hazardous Areas and remove all suspicion of mines/ERW through Non-technical Survey, Technical Survey and/or clearance. The criteria for “all reasonable efforts” is defined by the national mine-action authority. See also International Mine
Action Standards (IMAS
)
,
Non-technical Survey
,
Technical Survey
.
Landmine Impact Survey (LIS) A LIS is a community-based national survey that measures the extent of the impact of the landmine problem in a country, based on the number of recent victims, socioeconomic blockages and type of munitions.
Landmine Monitor Landmine Monitor is an initiative providing research for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Cluster Munitions Coalition. Landmine Monitor provides systematic monitoring and assessment of the international community’s response to the problem caused by landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war. Landmine Monitor publishes annual reports in October that detail the landmine and ERW developments during the past year. For more information:
http://lm.icbl.org
Meetings of States Parties (abbreviated 8MSP, 9MSP, etc) The Meeting of State Parties is a formal meeting of the Member States that have accepted the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction. For more information:
http://www.apmineban
convention.org/meetings
-of-the-states-parties
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) On 18 September 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 55/2, the United Nations Millennium Declaration. At the United Nations Millennium Summit, world leaders agreed to a set of time-bound and measurable goals and targets for combating poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women. Placed at the heart of the global agenda, they are now called the Millennium Development Goals. The Summit’s Millennium Declaration also outlined a wide range of commitments in human rights, good governance and democracy. For more information:
http://www.un.org/millennium
Mine-free/Mine-safe or Impact-free Some countries and mine-action organizations are urging the use of the term mine-free, while others are espousing the term mine-safe or impact-free. Mine-free connotes a condition in which all landmines have been cleared, whereas the terms mine-safe and impact-free refer to the condition in which landmines no longer pose a credible threat to a community or country.
Munitions List For more information on individual munitions, see the Mine Action Information Center’s “Munitions Reference.” Available at: http://www.jmu.edu/cisr/research-library/munitions.html
Nairobi Summit The Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World, held 29 November–3 December 2004, is the name given to the First Review Conference of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction. The summit, a gathering of various high-ranking political representatives throughout the international community, focused on the examination of the problems caused by anti-personnel mines and the appropriate actions needed to address the landmine situation across the globe. For more information: http://www.nairobisummit.org/
Non-technical Survey According to the most recent IMAS (8.20 Draft Edition, 10 June 2009), Non-technical Survey involves collecting and analyzing new and/or existing information about a hazardous area. Its purpose is to confirm evidence of a hazard or not, to identify the type and extent of hazards within any hazardous area and to define, as far as possible, the perimeter of the actual hazardous areas without physical intervention. A Non-technical Survey does not normally involve the use of clearance or verification assets. See also International Mine
Action Standards
(IMAS)
,
Technical Survey
, Land
Release
.
Oslo Process The Oslo Conference on Cluster Munitions, also known as the Oslo Process, was the first step in a process toward creating an international ban on cluster munitions. See also Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM). For more information:
http://www.noruega.ao/
policy/Oslo+Conference+
on+Cluster+Munitions
.htm
Ottawa Convention The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, was opened for signature in Ottawa, Canada, 3 December 1997, and is commonly known as the Ottawa Convention. For more information:
http://www.icbl.org/
treaty/text/english
Ottawa Convention, Article 4 Article 4 of the Ottawa Convention requires each signatory to destroy or ensure the destruction of all stockpiled mines it owns or possesses, or that are under its jurisdiction or control, as soon as possible but not later than four years after the Convention is in force for that State Party. For more information:
http://www.icbl.org/
treaty/text/english#4
Ottawa Convention, Article 5 Article 5 of the Ottawa Convention requires that signatories identify all mined or mine-suspected areas; ensure these areas are marked, monitored and protected to effectively exclude civilians; and destroy or ensure destruction of all mines in these areas as soon as possible and no later than 10 years after the Convention’s entry into force for that State Party. For more information:
http://www.icbl.org/
treaty/text/english#5
Small Arms/Light Weapons (SA/LW) Among conventional weapons, SA/LW are particularly problematic as they are relatively simple to use and are easily accessible. The term “small arms” refers to a category of weapons designed for individual use, including pistols, machine and submachine guns, assault rifles, and hand grenades, among others. “Light weapons” typically include conventional weapons designed for operation by a group of two or more individuals (although they may be operated by individual combatants as well). These weapons include heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, anti-tank missiles and rocket systems, and man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS). Moreover, they are often the weapons of choice of non-state actors, including terrorist organizations and paramilitary insurgents.
Technical Survey According to the most recent IMAS (8.20 Draft Edition, 10 June 2009), Technical Survey is a detailed intervention with clearance or verification assets into a Confirmed Hazardous Area, or part of a CHA. It should confirm the presence of mines/ERW, leading to the definition of one or more defined hazardous areas, and may indicate the absence of mines/ERW, which could allow land to be released when combined with other evidence. See also International Mine
Action Standards
(IMAS)
,
Non-technical Survey, Land
Release
.