Mine Ban Needed, Not Just Mine Action Funding

    A woman deminer in Cambodia © Mary Wareham, HRW, 2011

    As the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action on Friday, April 4 approaches, calls are intensifying for the Obama Administration to conclude its review of United States’ policy on banning antipersonnel landmines with a decision to join the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has launched a series of floor statements to urge the US to join the international treaty without delay. The United States Campaign to Ban Landmines has called on the US to “match its financial commitment to clearing landmines with a political commitment to ensure it never uses these indiscriminate weapons again.” In a letter to President Obama, USCBL chair Human Rights Watch has called for the policy review to conclude now so that the US announces the results at the Mine Ban Treaty’s Third Review Conference, which opens in Maputo, Mozambique on June 23. Events to commemorate 2014 Mine Action Day are taking place in New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, and in countries around the world. Read more…

    Report on US event on the Mine Ban Treaty

    The United States Campaign to Ban Landmines has prepared a report on the proceedings of the US and the Mine Ban Treaty symposium that it held together with the Mine Ban Treaty’s Implementation Support Unit at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC on February 19. The event featured keynote addresses from Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams, Mine Ban Treaty envoy Prince Mired Bin Raad Al-Hussein of Jordan, and Senator Patrick Leahy. It also featured an expert panel on the United States and landmines. Ambassador Amélia Sumbana of Mozambique delivered closing remarks on behalf of the President-Designate of the Mine Ban Treaty’s Third Review Conference, which will be held in Maputo in June 2014. See the report here…

    Event on US and the Mine Ban Treaty

    PHOTO: Sarneta, a member of Handicap International’s all-female demining team in North Inhambane, Mozambique. © J-J Bernard / Handicap International, March 2011

    The US Campaign to Ban Landmines is pleased announce the line-up of speakers for the special event on the United States and the Mine Ban Treaty event it is holding in Washington DC on Wednesday, February 19 together with the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit. This half-day event aims to promote the Mine Ban Treaty and its objectives ahead of its Third Review Conference in Mozambique in June 2014 as well as highlight the need for a positive conclusion to the US landmine policy review. The event will be live-streamed and live-tweeted. To RSVP, see the invitation...

    The event will open with keynote addresses by Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams, HRH Prince Mired Raad Al Hussein of Jordan, and Senator Patrick Leahy. These speakers will be introduced by François Rivasseau, deputy head of the EU delegation to the US, who was involved in the negotiations of the Mine Ban Treaty in the 1990s on behalf of France. The expert panel on US landmine policy moderated by Rachel Stohl from the Stimson Center will feature a mine action practicioner, a landmine survivor, a retired general, and the chair of the US Campaign to Ban Landmines. The concluding remarks will be made by Ambassador Amélia Matos Sumbana of Mozambique, on behalf of the president of the Mine Ban Treaty’s the Third Review Conference. See the Program…

    Unable to attend? Please click here for a live feed starting at 9:30am on February 19th.

    Action Needed on Long-Awaited US Landmine Policy Review

    A decision is believed to be imminent on the United States landmine policy review, which began in 2009. The US Campaign to Ban Landmines has repeatedly urged that the outcome of the policy review be a decision to join the Mine Ban Treaty as soon as possible, to prohibit the use of antipersonnel mines immediately, and to begin destruction of all stocks of antipersonnel mines. In a January 31, 2014 letter to President Barack Obama, the leadership of the US Campaign to Ban Landmines reiterated this call and urged the US to explain its landmine policy review decision at the Mine Ban Treaty’s Third Review Conference, which opens in Maputo, Mozambique on June 23, 2014. Read more...

    On Wednesday, February 19, the US Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit, with the support of the European Union, are holding an event at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC on the United States and the Mine Ban Treaty. Confirmed speakers include Nobel Peace Laureate Ms. Jody Williams and Prince Mired Bin Raad Al-Hussein of Jordan, Special Envoy for the Mine Ban Convention. See invitation...

    U.S. Once Again Fails to Announce Promised Landmine Policy Review Outcome

    At the close of the Mine Ban Treaty Meeting in Geneva on December 5, the U.S. delegation provided no further substantive information on the progress of the administration's landmine policy review, which was initiated in 2009.  One year ago, at this same annual meeting, the U.S. delegation assured States Parties that it would conclude the long-delayed review “soon.” At a later public briefing, the head of the U.S. delegation further clarified that “soon” would be consistent with a reasonable understanding of the word, and that he believed—at the outside—that an announcement of the decision of the review would take place no later than the meeting which just concluded. Yet at this meeting, the head of the U.S. delegation made a new statement with no other information than that the policy review is “pressing forward.” USCBL responded by pointing out that the administration is not taking the review seriously enough or making it a priority--and that during the same four years that the administration has avoided making the decisions necessary to join this lifesaving convention, more than 16,000 men, women, and children have been killed or maimed by a landmine, many by U.S. munitions, and ten more casualties will continue to occur every day moving forward as they continue to postpone. Read more...