For Immediate Release: December 2, 2009
Contact: Jeff Abramson, Deputy Director, (202) 463-8270 x 109
(Washington, DC) Yesterday at the Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World, the United States government indicated that its participation at the meeting “is the result of an on-going comprehensive review of U.S. landmine policy initiated at the direction of President Obama.”
“The announcement of that review is a welcome, if somewhat delayed response to calls from the Arms Control Association and 66 other national organizations for a reconsideration of U.S. policy on landmines and cluster bombs that was issued in February,” said ACA’s Deputy Director Jeff Abramson.
“We urge the Obama administration to conduct their policy review in a thorough and expeditious manner and in consultation with nongovernmental humanitarian and arms control experts,” Abramson said.
“While the United States is a global leader in demining operations around the world, its contributions are undermined so long as it rejects the decade-old Mine Ban Treaty and the new Convention on Cluster Munitions,” Abramson added.
“U.S. forces have been moving away from using cluster munitions and antipersonnel landmines—a trend that can and should be accelerated,” said Daryl G. Kimball, ACA’s Executive Director. The United States has not deployed antipersonnel landmines since 1992, and it has not used cluster munitions in Iraq since 2003 or in Afghanistan since 2002.
“The use of weapons that disproportionately take the lives and limbs of civilians is wholly counterproductive in today's conflicts, where winning over the local population is essential to mission success,” said Kimball.
“The Clinton administration put the United States on the path to joining the Mine Ban Treaty. It is time for President Obama to not only put us back on that path, but to see that the United States accedes to the treaty early in his administration,” Abramson said.
U.S. Statement at the CartagenaSummit on a Mine-Free World, December 1, 2009. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2009/dec/132891.htm
Letter to Obama Administration from 67 national organizations requesting a review of U.S. policy on landmines and cluster bombs, February 2009. http://www.armscontrol.org/system/files/Obama_sign-on_letter_FINAL.pdf