Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council
at its 163rd session (Moscow, 12 September 1998)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Having noted the third report of the Committee to Promote Respect for International Humanitarian Law setting out the results of the inquiry on parliamentary action to ensure respect for international humanitarian law and the elimination of anti-personnel mines, conducted at the Council's requests among all member parliaments of the Union (CL/163/12(h)-R.1. and CL/163/12(h)-R.1.Add.1 and Add.2)

A. Questions concerning the inquiry

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

  1. Notes that in the space of nearly three years, only 67 of the 137 parliaments represented in the Inter-Parliamentary Union have responded to the Committee's requests for information;
  2. Notes with great interest the information already supplied by parliaments, and expresses its gratitude to all those who contributed to gathering these important data;
  3. Considers that the results of the inquiry can only be regarded as partial and that it is important to continue gathering information in order to obtain a broader, fuller and more accurate view of the status of the question in national parliaments;
  4. To that end decides to extend for four years the mandate of the Committee to Promote Respect for International Humanitarian Law to enable it to complete the information and its analysis.

B. Questions concerning international humanitarian law

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

  1. Notes that the results of the inquiry so far show relatively little information and action on the part of parliaments as regards questions concerning international humanitarian law;
  2. Requests the Committee to Promote Respect for International Humanitarian Law to prepare in consultation with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations a handbook for parliaments and their members to help them in their legislative and other activities to promote the rules of international humanitarian law and to submit such a document to the Council at its 164th session, in Brussels (10-16 April 1999);

C. Questions concerning the International Criminal Court

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Recalling that, right from the outset, the Inter-Parliamentary Union has supported the efforts undertaken in particular by the United Nations for the establishment of an International Criminal Court,

  1. Welcomes the adoption on 17 July 1998 in Rome of the Statute of the International Criminal Court by the United Nations Diplomatic Conference, which marks the international community's determination to take steps to ensure that the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression do not go unpunished and that justice is done;
  2. Invites all parliaments and their members to take action to secure the universal ratification of the Statute of the Court at the earliest possible date and to do everything in their power to ensure that this new international tribunal is indeed set up without delay and provided with the means to operate efficiently.

D. Questions concerning anti-personnel mines

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Recalling that the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on their Destruction was adopted in Ottawa on 4 December 1997,

  1. Notes with satisfaction that since then 37 States have ratified this new and important legal instrument and that 130 States have signed it;
  2. Also notes that the Convention will enter into force once it has been ratified by forty States, and once again encourages the Parliaments of signatory States to speed up the ratification procedure so that the Convention may take full effect without delay;
  3. Urges all governments and parliaments to take the necessary steps for the adoption of enabling laws and regulations which will ensure full compliance with the Convention;
  4. Reiterates its earlier calls to all States and other parties to armed conflict to contribute on an ongoing basis to international landmine clearance efforts, and once again encourages States to fund the United Nations Voluntary Trustee Fund for Mine Clearance;
  5. Also reiterates its call to the governments and parliaments of the countries concerned to take further action to promote mine-awareness programmes (including gender- and age-appropriate programmes), thereby reducing the number and alleviating the plight of civilian victims;
  6. Likewise reiterates its call to the governments and parliaments of the countries concerned to release appropriate resources for the treatment and rehabilitation of landmine victims;
  7. Requests the Secretary General of the Union to explore the possibility of developing a database on parliamentary action with regard to anti-personnel mines.

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