Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 25 November 2013

Mine ban policy overview

Mine Ban Treaty status

State not party

Pro-mine ban UNGA voting record

Voted in favor of Resolution 67/32 in December 2012

Participation in Mine Ban Treaty meetings

Attended as an observer the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties in December 2012


The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. Lao PDR officials have stated on many occasions that the government made a decision in 2004 to accede but that the country needs time to prepare to meet the treaty’s obligations. In December 2012, Lao PDR reiterated that it would work toward accession but did not provide any timeline.[1]

In July 2011, Lao PDR provided a voluntary Article 7 report. The report notes that landmines may be used, possessed, or traded, if sanctioned. The report states that there has been no survey regarding mined areas and that there are no specific warnings posted for mined areas, only warnings for areas with unexploded ordnance (UXO). It does not provide any information regarding its stockpile but does state that a small quantity of antipersonnel mines is held for training in mine detection.[2] Lao PDR had previously said that its voluntary Article 7 report, when submitted, would allow the international community to “understand the facts and reality on the ground.”[3]

The Lao government has cited the treaty’s mine clearance obligation and deadline under Article 5 as an obstacle to accession. Lao PDR also expressed concern regarding the possible diversion of resources from UXO clearance activities to a focus on antipersonnel mines.[4]

In March 2010, a representative of the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) told the Monitor that the only concern the country has regarding accession to the Mine Ban Treaty is implementation of Article 5. He noted that Lao PDR is the country with the worst contamination by explosive remnants of war in the world, and as a State Party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Lao PDR is concerned it may not be able to comply with both conventions’ obligations at the same time due to limited resources.[5]

Lao PDR sent observers to the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in December 2012 where it made a statement on its efforts toward accession to the Convention. It also attended the Bangkok Symposium on Enhancing Cooperation & Assistance in June 2013 in Bangkok.

On 3 December 2012, Lao PDR voted in favor of UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 67/32 calling for universalization and full implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. This was the sixth consecutive year it has voted in favor of the annual resolution, after abstaining in all previous years.

Lao PDR is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), but not its Amended Protocol II on landmines.

Use, stockpiling, production, and transfer

In 2008, Lao PDR acknowledged that it has used mines in the past “to protect its borders.” It also said that the government does not export antipersonnel mines although it holds a small stockpile.[6] Lao PDR’s voluntary Article 7 report states that it has not used antipersonnel mines for more than two decades and that the country has no production facilities.[7]


[1] Statement of Lao PDR, Mine Ban Treaty Twelfth Meeting of States Parties, Session on Universalization, Geneva, 6 December 2012,

[2] Form A of the Article 7 report notes that sanctions in the penal code prohibit production, possession, use, or trade of war weapons, although not specifically mines, unless legally sanctioned. Form B states that the information will be provided when it is available. Form C notes that “no survey on anti-personnel mines has been carried out, therefore the information on the locations of mine fields are lacking [sic].” Form D states that the Ministry of Defence retained a “small quantity of APMs [antipersonnel mines] for the training in mine detection…” On Form E, Lao PDR stated that it has no antipersonnel mine production facilities. Forms F, G, and H state that “no information is available.” Form I states that “there is no specific warning about APMs [antipersonnel mines], but only UXOs that could be also valid for landmines. Since the contamination areas are so wide, UXO marking signs were set up only at the project areas.” Form I includes a total of mine victims as a percentage of a casualty figure from 1964–2008, and notes that Lao PDR will continue to destroy mines when they are found during the course of UXO clearance. Voluntary Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period to 31 December 2010), Forms A–I,$file/Laos+2010.pdf.

[3] Statement by Khonepheng Thammavong, Permanent Mission of Lao PDR to the UN in Geneva, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 20 June 2011.

[5] Interview with Somnuk Vorasarn, Deputy Director, NRA, Vientiane, 26 March 2010.

[6] Statement by Amb. Maligna Saignavongs, NRA, Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Mine Ban Treaty, Geneva, 2 June 2008.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Voluntary Article 7 Report (for the period to 31 December 2010), Forms J and E,$file/Laos+2010.pdf.