The French policy on the elimination of anti-personnel mines (CNEMA and CLAM)

In order to ensure compliance with its obligations under the Ottawa Convention, France established an original body in 1998, the National Commission for the Elimination of Anti-Personnel Mines (CNEMA). The National Commission for the Elimination of Anti-Personnel Mines (CNEMA, Commission nationale pour l’élimination des mines antipersonnel) is a forum for discussion and information. It is made up of and involves, in the greatest transparency, members of Parliament, officials from the ministries concerned and civil society stakeholders (non-governmental organizations, unions and employers) who wish to participate.
Moreover, France set up a Liaison Committee for Action Against Mines (CLAM, Comité de liaison de l’action contre les mines), an informal body that brings together the various French stakeholders in the fight against mines (administrations, NGOs and businesses) in order to promote French and French-speaking expertise in the area of mine clearance.

National Commission for the Elimination of Anti-Personnel Mines (CNEMA)

The National Commission for the Elimination of Anti-Personnel Mines (CNEMA, Commission nationale pour l’élimination des mines antipersonnel) is responsible for following up the implementation of the Ottawa Convention. Its creation resulted from a process of France’s denouncing of the use of anti-personnel mines.

History of CNEMA

In order to ensure France’s implementation of the Ottawa Convention, the French Parliament adopted a bill creating a National Commission for the Elimination of Anti-Personnel Mines (CNEMA) on 8 July 1998. The creation of such a body was an option for the States Parties, but not a requirement. Two implementing decrees on 10 May 1999 supplemented the Act, one on persons authorized to record offences under the Act and another on the composition and operation of the National Commission.

Since then, a new Act, adopted in 2010, has extended its competence to the follow-up of the Oslo Convention on Cluster Munitions. Another decree altered its composition as follows, in 2011:

  • two National Assembly Deputies and two Senators;
  • four qualified persons chosen on the basis of their skills in the area of humanitarian action or law;
  • five members of French civil society, working in the area of victim assistance and mine clearance assistance;
  • two persons belonging to French employers’ federations and two persons belonging to trade unions;
  • a representative of the Prime Minister and a representative for each of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Industry, Defence, the Interior, Health, and Disabled Persons, and those responsible for humanitarian action and cooperation.

Mandate and activities of the CNEMA

The National Commission for the Elimination of Anti-Personnel Mines (CNEMA) has a two-fold mandate:

at national level, it ensures France complies with all its obligations. It verified, for example, France’s destruction of its stockpile of anti-personnel mines in 1999. It now checks that the French stockpile of anti-personnel mines, kept for training purposes by the Ministry of Defence, does not exceed 5000 units, as required by Article 3 of the Act of 8 July 1998. The CNEMA therefore has to precisely identify the stored mines and monitor any use or new acquisition.

at international level, it ensures France’s assistance to countries affected by mines and which have limited financial and material resources goes smoothly. There are two aspects to this support: assistance for mine clearance and destruction of stockpiles on the one hand, and victim assistance on the other.

The CNEMA also contributes to the reflection underway amongst the Ottawa Convention community, such as by participating in the regular meetings provided for by the Convention.

The CNEMA produces a public report on all its activities every year. This report is structured around the two major aspects of the Ottawa Convention: the destruction of stockpiles on the one hand and victim assistance and assistance in mine clearance on the other, as well as covering the general implementation of the Convention and its universalization.

The work of the CNEMA is supervised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. It has a small team of staff from the Ministry, led by the thematic ambassador for humanitarian mine clearance, who answers to the Strategic, Security and Disarmament Affairs Director. The Ambassador is also Secretary-General of the CNEMA.

The Liaison Committee for Action Against Mines (CLAM)

The CLAM was created on the 10th anniversary of the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction. Its work is incorporated into the ongoing preparation of the Ministry’s strategy for a long-term action to combat mines.

Its aims are as follows:

raising the awareness of national leaders
on issues linked to the elimination of mines, in both humanitarian and financial terms, through the creation of a charter of anti-mine action stakeholders;

facilitating access to the information on action against mines available in each of the member institutions, through its representative within the CLAM, through the internal relationships, publications and contacts of each ministry;

promoting the activities of each of the signatories with the various bodies under its responsibility of supervision, at both internal and international levels: associations, forums, etc.;

systematically studying avenues for cooperation: identification, creation of consortiums;

offering human and financial resources needed for envisaged projects, based on its own capacities; provision of public and private experts, programme management;

participating in a spirit of partnership and public service in the work of the Liaison Committee for Action Against Mines (CLAM) .

Evaluation report on the French policy for action against mines

Updated: December 2014