Practice Relating to Rule 81. Restrictions on the Use of Landmines
In 2003, at the 5th Annual Conference of the States Parties to Amended Protocol II of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, the head of the Indian delegation stated:
India remains committed to full and effective implementation of the Amended Protocol II and has taken all the required measures to ensure the compliance with its provisions …
Mr. President, in India only the armed forces are permitted to use landmines. They have well- established Standard of Operation Procedures whereby minefields are laid along border areas as a part of military operations and are explicitly marked and fenced to prevent causalities to innocent civilians or grazing cattle.
In 2005, in a statement at the 7th Annual Conference of the States Parties to 1996 Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, the head of the Indian delegation stated:
All of us present here share the vision of a mine-free world. India remains committed to the ultimate objective of a universal and global ban on anti-personnel landmines, in a manner that would also address the legitimate national security concerns of States. We hope that the availability of appropriate militarily effective, non-lethal and cost-effective alternative technologies will greatly facilitate achieving the complete elimination of anti-personnel landmines.
The Amended Protocol II [AP II] embodies two general principles of International Humanitarian Law: that the civilian population requires protection against the effects of hostilities and that the right of parties to an armed conflict to choose methods or means of warfare is not unlimited. AP II is the most comprehensive legally-binding instrument that addresses the humanitarian risks posed by the indiscriminate and irresponsible use of all types of mines, anti-personnel mines, anti-vehicle mines and other explosive devices. If implemented in letter and spirit, it would go a long way in addressing humanitarian concerns, while permitting States to use these mines in a responsible and regulated fashion for legitimate requirements.
India supports measures undertaken by the States Parties for the universalization of AP II … I take this opportunity to urge those who have not done so to ratify the [1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons] and its five protocols as soon as possible. My delegation looks forward to a useful exchange of views on the implementation of the Protocol, to which we have committed ourselves with the objective of securing a mine-free world.