Today the United States of America failed to stand with landmine survivors and against the destruction of landmines.
Below is the statement from the United States Campaign to Ban Landmines:
December 5, 2013
The Obama administration is failing in its humanitarian duty and failing to keep its promises by its inability to conclude its review of US landmine policy more than four years after it began.
One year ago, at the 12MSP, 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 delegation 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 this Meeting of States Parties.
Yet at the meeting today, the head of the U.S. delegation provides us with no other information than that the policy review is “pressing forward.”
The Bush administration concluded its review in three years. Yet four plus years later, we are still waiting on the Obama administration to complete its active and ongoing review. Essentially, this administration has spent another year ignoring this issue, choosing instead to delay a decision on joining a treaty that is saving so many lives every day. There is no excuse for such inaction and the humanitarian costs it entails.
The U.S. continues to opt to stand outside the Mine Ban Treaty, alongside notable outsiders, instead of inside it with all of its NATO and European Union allies. The administration’s apparent unwillingness to commit to no further use of these weapons and to destruction of its existing stockpile of more than 10 million landmines is unacceptable—and additionally provide cover for other countries to defer accession and justify future use. There is simply no scenario in 2013 in which it is realistic that landmines are the only acceptable or even logical military alternative.
The further postponement of the conclusion of this review demonstrates that this administration is just not taking this process seriously—not treating this process as a priority. Yet during these same four years, 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 continue to occur every day. This issue is important and needs to be a priority.
Below is the statement from the US delegation:
December 5, 2013