The Republic of Cyprus implements the Ottawa Convention
The Republic of Cyprus ratified the Ottawa Convention on the 17th of January 2003 and became a full Member - State on the 1st of July 2003. Consequently, by July 2007, the Republic of Cyprus had destroyed 44.548 stockpiled anti – personnel mines of the National Guard.
As far as the active minefields of the National Guard are concerned, until July 2013, 4318 anti - personnel mines were removed and destroyed.
It is noteworthy to mention that the Republic of Cyprus holds Turkey responsible for the clearance of anti - personnel mines in the occupied areas, since the Republic of Cyprus is deterred from exercising effective control over these areas, due to the illegal presence of the Turkish occupational forces.
In this framework, the Republic of Cyprus submitted an initial request, which was approved, to receive a three – year extension, until the 1st of July 2016. Thereinafter, a second request was also approved for an additional extension until the 1st of July 2019, so as to complete its obligations deriving from Article V of the Ottawa Convention.
The Republic of Cyprus has also retained 500 personnel mines, in accordance with the provisions of Article 3 of the Convention, for training purposes. In 2010 decision of the Ministry of Defence, the stock was reduced further.
Demining of the Buffer Zone
The Republic of Cyprus submitted a proposal to the United Nations in January 2002, for the demining of all minefields within the buffer zone, which were laid by the National Guard after the Turkish invasion of 1974. In this framework, the National Guard formulated a plan for the demining of these minefields, which was originally funded by the European Union and implemented with the assistance of UNFICYP.
After continuous pressure, the Turkish occupational forces, in August 2005, commenced work on respective demining activities. In total, 81 minefields – suspected areas have been effectively cleared within the Buffer Zone, from which 27.174 mines have been removed and destroyed.
Only one minefield remains to be cleared in the Buffer Zone, which belongs to the Turkish occupational forces, and is located in the vicinity of the village Deryneia. The Mine Action Centre of the United Nations was not permitted to clear the aforementioned minefield, due to the intransigence of the occupational forces. Cyprus on the other hand does not maintain any further minefields in the Buffer Zone..
To date, the demining activities of the Buffer Zone were funded as follows:
(1) European Union - 11 million Euros.
(2) Republic of Cyprus - 2.5 million Euros.
(3) Canada - 250 000 USD.
(4) Slovenia - 25 000 USD.
(5) United Kingdom - 50 000 Euros.
(6) Hungary - 15 000 Euros.
Due to the Turkish occupation forces non - response to the aforementioned demand of the United Nations, The Mine Action Centre of the United Nations permanently terminated its operations in Cyprus, in October 2011.