Sign Petition Calling on Obama to Join the Mine Ban Treaty!

In 2009, the Obama Administration announced that they were conducting a policy review of US policy on landmines, which had backslid during the Bush Administration from an already rather moribund Clinton era policy (See my earlier Guardian article about this). However, now it is 2012, the 20th anniversary of the landmine ban campaign, and we are left in a Beckett-esque never-ending wait for the result of Obama’s policy review. Handicap International US has launched an online petition calling on President Obama to “Join the Mine Ban Treaty Now!” At the time of writing, they had already collected more than 13,000 signatures. I added mine to the list today, writing the following note to the President:

As a political scientist, journalist and aid worker, I have lived and worked in a variety of countries (including Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Bosnia) affected by landmines and have seen the terrible devastation they cause. I have done extensive research on landmine issues (my PhD focused on landmine policy and I have written a peer-reviewed book, Foreign Aid and Landmine Clearance, on the subject) and know just how important US support would be for the landmine ban treaty. I voted for you, Mr. President, in part because of the positive things you said in your 2008 campaign about conventional weapons control. But I have been disappointed by the lack of US leadership on landmines, cluster munitions and the Arms Trade Treaty. Joining the landmine treaty, which has wide public, political and international support would be a ‘quick win’ for your administration. It would be an important signal to the world.

Yours sincerely
Dr. Matthew Bolton

To sign Handicap International’s petition, click here.

~ by Matthew Bolton on 10 October 2012.

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