Mine Ban Treaty Celebrates Fourteenth Anniversary: U.S. Will Soon Conclude Landmine Policy Review
March 1 marks the fourteenth anniversary of the entry into force of the Mine Ban Treaty, and campaigners from around the world continue to call on the United States to announce the conclusion of its landmine policy review. The Obama administration initiated a review of U.S. landmine policy in late 2009 in response to the outcry of the global community. At the Mine Ban Treaty’s December 2012 Meeting of States Parties, the United States observer delegation stated that the U.S. will be announcing the outcome of its three year review of its landmine policy “soon.” Hopes are high that the United States will embrace the Mine Ban Treaty and announce concrete plans for a comprehensive ban on antipersonnel mines. The administration should take steps 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. Click here to read the press release.
U.S. Delegation Makes Anticipated Statement at December 2012 Mine Ban Treaty Conference
In its December 6th statement at the Twelfth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty, the United States observer delegation said, “We have not made a decision on United States accession to the Convention. Our review has identified operational issues related to accession that require careful consideration. This consideration is ongoing, and we expect to be able to announce a decision soon.” In response, the USCBL held a briefing to discuss the statement and the status of the review in which the head of the U.S. delegation indicated that “soon” meant—at the least—that an announcement of the decision of the review would take place no later than the next Meeting of States Parties in November 2013. Civil society campaigners at the conference recognized that this was the first time the administration has indicated publicly that the review is nearing conclusion, but were disappointed that there was no mention of an actual end date for the review; information about the current stage of the process; or what “operational issues” had been identified—and what strategy was being implemented to overcome them. Click here to read more about the statement.
Lend Your Leg Campaign
From March 1 to April 4—the U.N.’s International Day for Mine Awareness, the USCBL will join the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) in the global Lend Your Leg campaign. In 2011, a small group of motivated citizens in Colombia rolled up their pant leg in a symbolic gesture of solidarity with landmine survivors across the globe that have lost limbs to this deadly device. What began as a grassroots campaign to raise awareness of this ongoing humanitarian crisis soon spread via social media and quickly gained broad public support. Lend Your Leg campaigners from around the world are launching events this month to urge governments that remain outside the Mine Ban Treaty to join immediately and urging all governments to take steps towards achieving a mine-free world including: speeding clearance of contaminated land, providing more and better assistance to survivors, their families and communities, and destruction of all remaining stockpiles of antipersonnel mines. Click here for more information. For additional information on the Lend Your Leg campaign please visit www.lendyourleg.org.
Latest News from USCBL
Check out the great trailer below from our friends at "The Eyes of Thailand."
"The Eyes of Thailand" tells the amazing and heroic true story of Soraida Salwala, a passionate woman who dedicated ten years of her life to help two elephant landmine survivors walk again. Treating their wounds was only part of their journey; building elephant-sized prostheses was another. For more information go to www.eyesofthailand.com.
Watch the 2012 Lend Your Leg Video Here!
For more on the Mine Ban Treaty, go to www.icbl.org
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