I just found out that Palau joined the Mine Ban Treaty on 18 November 2007 (my birthday!), bringing the number of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty to 156. The announcement of the accession was made on the first day of the Eighth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Jordan. Palau’s close military ties with the United States, which has not joined the Mine Ban Treaty, complicated its ability to join the treaty. The announcement is really nice as I provided the Landmine Monitor update on Palau for this year’s report and have on several occassions met the diplomat who made the accession happen. Here’s a photo of Marvin T. Ngirutang that I took in Zagreb in 2005.