U.S. declines to join treaty banning landmines

CNN reports the U.S. will not join the treaty formally banning landmines. “This administration undertook a policy review and we decided our landmine policy remains in effect,” a State Department spokesman said in response to a question. “We made our policy review and we determined that we would not be able to meet our national defense needs nor our security commitments to our friends and allies if we sign this convention.”

Reuters notes that

The treaty bans the use, stockpiling, production or transfer of antipersonnel mines. It has been endorsed by 156 countries, but the United States, Russia, China and India have not adopted it.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, a leading advocate for the treaty, called the decision “a default of U.S. leadership.”

The U.S. decision comes just before a review conference on the 10-year-old Mine Ban Treaty is due to get under way in Cartegena, Colombia. The treaty is widely credited with reducing landmine deaths and injuries around the world.

Take Action here, and urge the White House to change their position and formally adopt the treaty.

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