Argentina

Mine Action

Last updated: 23 September 2019

20-Year Summary

Treaty status

Mine Ban Treaty

  • State Party: 1 March 2000
  • Extension request 1 January 2009: 10 years till 1 March 2020
  • Extension request 19 March 2019: 1 March 2023

No change since extension granted.

Other conventions

  • Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on Landmines and Protocol V on ERW.
  • Not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Mine action management

Humanitarian Mine Action commenced

N/A

National mine action management actors

Humanitarian Demining Office under the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces

Humanitarian Demining Training Center (Centro de Entrenamiento de Desminado Humanitario)

Mine action legislation

None

Mine action strategic and operational plans

N/A

Mine action standards

N/A

Current operators

N/A

Extent of contamination

Landmines

As of 31 March 2018: 6.44km2 all on the Malvinas/Falkland Islands.[1]

Extent of contamination: Medium

Other ERW contamination

Unknown cluster munition remnant contamination and other ERW contamination all contained in known mined areas on the Malvinas/Falkland Islands.

Land release

Landmines

See United Kingdom (UK) mine action profile

Other ERW

See UK mine action profile

Progress and 2020 target

Landmines

Argentina reports that it is mine-affected by virtue of its claim to sovereignty over the Malvinas/Falkland Islands. Argentina has argued that it is unable to meet its Article 5 obligations because it has not had access to the Malvinas due to the “illegal occupation” by the UK.

Note: N/A = not applicable; ERW = explosive remnants of war.

The Republic of Argentina became a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty on 1 March 2000. It has not enacted domestic implementation legislation. Argentina completed destruction of its stockpile of more than 90,000 antipersonnel mines on 4 December 2003. In December 2005, States Parties agreed to a proposal by Chile and Argentina for expanded reporting on mines retained for training and development purposes.

Argentina has asserted that the “illegal occupation” of the Malvinas/Falkland Islands by the United Kingdom (UK) has “effectively prevented [it] from having access to the anti-personnel mines…in order to fulfill the obligations undertaken in the Mine Ban Treaty.” Argentina submitted a request for a 10-year extension to its Article 5 deadline on 27 April 2009. In March 2019, Argentina submitted an extension request for an additional three years until 1 March 2023.[2] This is a shorter timeframe than the 2018 UK extension deadline of 1 March 2024.

Contamination and Impact

The Republic of Argentina reports that it is mine-affected by virtue of its claim to sovereignty over the Malvinas/Falkland Islands.[3] On ratifying the Mine Ban Treaty, Argentina submitted a declaration reaffirming “its rights of sovereignty over the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich and the surrounding maritime areas which form an integral part of the territory.”[4] It reiterated this declaration at the Sixteenth Meeting of States Parties and the June 2018 Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings.[5] The islands were mined, mostly by Argentinian forces, during its armed conflict with the UK in 1982. Argentina has reported that no other territory under its jurisdiction or control is mine-affected.[6]

Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 Compliance

Argentina argued at the Second Review Conference in 2009 that it is unable to meet its Article 5 obligations because it has not had access to the Malvinas/Falklands due to the “illegal occupation” by the UK.[7] Argentina said that for this reason it had no other choice than to request an extension to its clearance deadline. It did offer more than a decade ago to support demining of the islands. In December 2017, Argentina reiterated its claim of sovereignty over the islands and declared that if the UK entered into negotiations over sovereignty an agreement on demining could be reached between the two states.[8]

In March 2018, the UK formally submitted a request to extend its Article 5 deadline by an additional five years until 1 March 2024. This deadline is to complete the demining of the islands.[9] In March 2019, Argentina submitted an extension request for an additional three years until 1 March 2023.[10] This is a shorter timeframe than the 2018 UK extension deadline of 1 March 2024.



[1] Email from an official in the Counter Proliferation and Arms Control Centre, FCO, 21 August 2018.

[2] Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 19 March 2019.

[3] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form A, 8 April 2010.

[4] Ibid., 31 August 2000.

[5] Statements of Argentina, Mine Ban Treaty 16th Meeting of States Parties, Vienna, 20 December 2017; and Committee on Article 5 Implementation, Geneva, 7 June 2018.

[6] Statement of Argentina, Mine Ban Treaty 16th Meeting of States Parties, Vienna, 20 December 2017.

[7] Statement of Argentina, Mine Ban Treaty Second Review Conference, Cartagena, 30 November 2009.

[8] Ibid.

[9] UK, Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 29 March 2018.

[10] Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 19 March 2019.