Greece and Ottawa Convention

If one studies IR theory, as I did, one tends to miss things like this. OK, perhaps I ought not generalize, but you get the point. Essentially, Greece’s count of the number of APL’s that it had destroyed was inaccurate. Now, a number of experts have composed very serious texts about compliance with international agreements. But in this case, some person (or people) didn’t load a truck properly.

In 2014, the Third Review Conference of the Ottawa Convention took place in Maputo; the next RevCon will happen later this month. During the Third RevCon, there was some discussion of the reasons behind Greece’s failure to meet the convention’s date for destroying Athens’ APL stockpiles. The mines were actually destroyed in Bulgaria; part of this discussion involved a discrepancy between Greece and Bulgaria’s accounts of destroyed Greek APLs:

In its transparency report of 2010, Greece reported that as of 31 December 2009, 1,566,532 anti-personnel mines remained to be destroyed and that 615,362 mines had been transferred to Bulgaria for the purposes of destruction. Bulgarian authorities reported that between 15 December 2008 and 14 May 2010 a total of 614,882 Greek anti-personnel mines have been delivered and destroyed in Bulgaria.

That left 480 APLs unaccounted for. What happened? Well, someone F’d up:

On 20 June 2011, Greece informed the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction that the investigation identified that the discrepancy in numbers was due to an uneven distribution of mines during packaging for the shipment to Bulgaria and that the 480 were indeed stored in an ammunition warehouse of the Greek army.

I’m genuinely not taking the piss here. Sometimes the mundane is entertaining.

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