Progress on Landmines in 2014

The new Landmine Monitor* report has recorded “the lowest number of new casualties ever and the completion of clearance obligations in four states.” In other good news, Oman acceded to the treaty in August 2014 and the US made a significant policy shift that brings into closer alignment with the global consensus. In fact, this week US Secretary of State John Kerry called on the international community to “Clear land mines off the earth” in an editorial for USA Today:

That means the U.S. will no longer procure anti-personnel land mines, and we will begin destroying our anti-personnel land mine stockpiles not required for the defense of South Korea. And we will work to find ways that may ultimately allow us to accede to the Ottawa Convention — the international treaty that prohibits the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel land mines.

However, in patting ourselves on the back we must not pretend that there is not tremendous amount of work still to be done. The Landmine Monitor report also decries the slow progress in landmine clearance and declining funding for humanitarian mine action.

For background clearing landmines and US landmine policy, read my book, Foreign Aid and Landmine Clearance.

*Full disclosure: I did the research for the landmine clearance portions of the Bosnia and Croatia sections of the 2014 Landmine Monitor report.

~ by Matthew Bolton on 10 December 2014.

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