US Close to Announcing Result of Landmine Policy Review
Despite campaigning in 2008 on the promise that he would “lead the way” on “international initiatives to limit harm to civilians caused by conventional weapons”, President Barack Obama maintained the Bush Administration’s unilateralist positions on landmines and cluster munitions that has left the US out of step with the majority of the world.
However, late last year, US officials notified the US Campaign to Ban Landmines that a “policy review” of the US position on landmines, startedin 2009, had concluded and President Obama’s decision would be announced “soon.”
“The world anxiously waits to hear news of U.S. progress towards accession to the Mine Ban Treaty,” said Zach Hudson, coordinator of the United States Campaign to Ban Landmines (USCBL). “Steps should be taken now to begin destruction of landmine stockpiles and guarantee that the U.S. will never again use this weapon that has been condemned by the vast majority of the world’s nations, including every other NATO member.”
According to Human Rights Watch, “Since the US policy review began, the administration has received letters or statements of support for the Mine Ban Treaty from 68 Senators, 16 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, key NATO allies, senior military veterans, dozens of leaders from nongovernmental organizations, victims of US landmines, and more than 200,000 concerned Americans.”
For further analysis, read this excellent op-ed by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams in Foreign Policy.
If you are a US citizen, please and contact your elected officials to call on them to ask President Obama to join the Mine Ban Treaty.