The Mine Ban Treaty: A Treaty to Join

By ACA Intern Valerie Pacer

The Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (also known as the Mine Ban Treaty and the Ottawa Convention), enjoys widespread international support. One hundred and fifty-six countries are currently state parties to the Treaty. The United States, however, is still "undecided" on whether or not it will join. Reuters reports:

Releasing the State Department's annual review on the destruction of conventional weapons, a senior official acknowledged that a review of U.S. landmines policy -- which has been ongoing since last year -- is not yet complete.

The United States has not signed the Mine Ban Treaty or a global treaty banning cluster munitions, despite what it says are world-leading efforts to provide assistance for the clearance of landmines as well as the destruction of unsecured weapons and munitions.

As Jeff Abramson shows in a recent Issue Brief, the treaty would provide significant humanitarian benefits, and would not impede the ability of the United States to defend itself.

By acceding to the Mine Ban Treaty, the United States would advance its security interests, improve the conditions on the ground for civilians and U.S. soldiers in conflict zones, and reestablish U.S. global leadership.

Under the Treaty, Member States agree to:
• Never use or produce landmines
• Destroy their existing stockpiles of landmines
• Clear landmines from their territory and assist other states with clearing mines
• Assist landmine victims and their families

To learn more about the Mine Ban Treaty, visit ACA's Landmine Subject Resource Page.