The 1997 Mine Ban Treaty will go into effect faster than any other major treaty, according to Jody Williams, ambassador of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. With Burkina Faso's ratification last September, the treaty will enter into force on March 1, 1999. Under the treaty, states are required to eliminate their own stockpiles of landmines within four years and clear or destroy all existing mines within 10 years. States also are to help care for mine victims.
Every country in the Western Hemisphere has signed the treaty except the United States and Cuba, and every NATO member has signed except the United States and Turkey. As of January 1999, 58 of the 133 signatories have ratified the Mine Ban Treaty.