For immediate release: November 30, 2010
Media contacts: Jeff Abramson, Deputy Director (202) 463-8270 x 109.
“Time is well overdue for President Obama to show leadership on this issue and sign the Mine Ban Treaty,” said Jeff Abramson, Arms Control Association deputy director.
“The Nobel Laureates who authored today’s letter know that presidents face tough choices, many of them having been former presidents, and call upon their fellow prize winner to make the right decision,” he added.
The group, comprised of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Jody Williams, President Oscar Arias Sanchez, President F.W. De Klerk, President Jose Ramos-Horta, Mohamed El Baradei, Mairead Maguire, Betty Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Wangari Maathai, John Hume, and Elie Wiesel write, “We understand that policy deliberations can be complicated, particularly on military matters and arms control. Yet in this instance we believe that there is a clear case to be made for the moral and humanitarian imperative for the
“For a president seeking to demonstrate
“We appreciate that as President, you have many aspects to consider in making such a decision. But we also know that you feel deeply the suffering of the innocents affected by war and its aftermath, and should have no trouble recognizing that the devastating impact of landmines on civilians is a terror of its own sort,” the Nobel Laureates said.
For more than a year, the administration has been conducting a comprehensive review of its landmine policy, following a call from more than 60 national organizations in February 2009 for a new
As it did last year for the first time, the
In May, 68 Senators, as well as additional members of the House of Representatives, delivered a letter to President Obama supporting review of
The 1997 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, entered into force in 1999. It bans the use of victim-activated antipersonnel landmines and sets timelines for their destruction and clearance
More than 150 countries are party to the treaty, including all NATO allies with the exception of the
Nobel Laureates Letter to President Obama, November 30, 2010:
Senate and House Letters to President Obama, May 25, 2010: http://www.armscontrol.org/issuebriefs/MomentumForUSMineBanTreaty
NGO Letter to President Obama, March 22, 2010: http://www.armscontrol.org/system/files/LandmineLetter_March2010.pdf
NGO Letter to President Obama, February 10, 2009: http://www.fcnl.org/weapons/pdfs/Obama_sign-on_letter_FINAL.pdf
Then-candidate Obama responses to Arms Control Today, 2008: http://www.armscontrol.org/2008election
ACA landmines resource page: http://www.armscontrol.org/subject/24/date