23 September 2014
ICBL Head of Delegation, Steve Goose, with US Head of Delegation, Steven Costner, at the Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference in Maputo, Mozambique, June 2014. ©ICBL.
The International Campaign to Ban Landmines welcomes the announcement today by the United States that it will abide by the major obligations of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, except as “required for the defense of the Republic of Korea.”
The US committed not to use antipersonnel mines and not to assist, encourage, or induce others to use, stockpile, produce or transfer anti-personnel landmines anywhere in the world outside of the Korean Peninsula. It also pledged to destroy stockpiles of landmines that it does not deem necessary for the defense of the Republic of Korea and repeated its commitment that it will not produce or otherwise acquire any antipersonnel munitions that are not compliant with the Mine Ban Treaty.
"The U.S. is taking an important step towards a world free of these vile, indiscriminate weapons; we are pleased that the United States is moving much closer to joining the Mine Ban Treaty,” said ICBL Campaign Manager Firoz Alizada. “At the same time, we are disturbed at the possibility of new use of antipersonnel mines by the United States on Korean soil. We fervently hope that the US will also work for the elimination of landmines in Korea as soon as possible and that its ultimate goal of joining the Mine Ban Treaty can be met in the very near future."
The announcement today bolsters the US commitment earlier this year at the Mine Ban Treaty meeting in Mozambique "to pursue solutions that would be compliant with and ultimately allow us to join the Ottawa Convention."
The US participated in the Third Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty in June 2014 in Maputo, Mozambique and announced their intention to change their mine ban policy. Some 93 countries participated in the Maputo meeting where states announced their plans to complete their treaty obligations including clearance of all contaminated land, destruction of all remaining landmine stockpiles and establishment of appropriate services for all landmine victims, by 2025.
This announcement comes following two-decades of advocacy by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines in some 100 countries, in addition to the United States and brings us one step closer to the global eradication of landmines.