HL Deb 08 June 1998 vol 590 cc68-9WA
Lord Gordon of Strathblane

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What progress they are making on their objective of the global elimination of anti-personnel landmines? [HL2175]

Lord Gilbert

We have, on a number of occasions, underlined our commitment to doing as much as possible to achieve this objective. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Defence wrote to colleagues on 27 January, setting out our plans to destroy all of the Army's operational stockpiles of anti-personnel landmines by 1 January 2000—well ahead of the deadline set by the Ottawa Convention. A copy of his letter is in the Library of the House. We now plan also to destroy the HB 876 anti-personnel submunition of the RAF's JP233 Airfield Denial Weapon by the same date.

The MoD is also addressing the problem of the millions of mines that are the legacy of conflicts around the world. We have made good progress in implementing the five point action plan on humanitarian demining we announced in October last year. In particular, the Mine Information and Training Centre at Minley is now fully operational. We continue to look for ways to do more; the recent gifting of 10 demining tractors to the HALO Trust is one example of our commitment in this area.