Positive Changes in U.S. Landmine Policy Stop Short of Immediate Ban

uscbl_logo2(Maputo, Mozambique) June 27, 2014 — Today’s announcement by the United States that it intends to join the Mine Ban Treaty in the future, and will not produce or acquire antipersonnel landmines is a positive step, but falls short of what is needed to ensure the weapons are never used again said the US Campaign to Ban Landmines. The U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique Douglas M. Griffiths made the announcement today at the Mine Ban Treaty’s 3rd Review Conference in Maputo, which the U.S. is attending as an observer.

The U.S. still reserves the right to use its millions of stockpiled mines anywhere in the world until they expire, and it has not made a firm commitment to accede to the Mine Ban Treaty.

It is past time for President Obama to fulfill the United States’ long-standing pledge to join the Mine Ban Treaty. The United States can and should commit to ban the use of these inhumane weapons that are no longer essential to our nation’s security or the security of U.S. allies.

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Special Event: The United States and the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty

(Washington, D.C.) February 10, 2014 — On Wednesday, February 19, the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit, with the support of the European Union, are holding an event at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., on the United States and the Mine Ban Treaty. Confirmed speakers include Nobel Peace Laureate Ms. Jody Williams and Prince Mired Bin Raad Al-Hussein of Jordan, Special Envoy for the Mine Ban Convention.

The event will be livestreamed and livetweeted.

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The event is hosted by the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention Implementation Support Unit and Human Rights Watch on behalf of the United States Campaign to Ban Landmines, with the support of the European Union.

The United States and the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Washington, D.C.

Keynote Addresses (9:30am-9:55am)

Introduction by:

François Rivasseau, Deputy Head
European Union Delegation to the United States

Featuring:

Jody Williams
1997 Nobel Peace Laureate

Prince Mired Bin Raad Al-Hussein of Jordan
Special Envoy for the Mine Ban Treaty

Statement by Senator Patrick Leahy
read by Channapha Khamvongsa, Legacies of War

Break

U.S. Expert Panel Discussion (10:00am-11:15am)

Moderator:

Rachel Stohl
Stimson Center

Featuring:

Heidi Kuhn
Roots of Peace

Steve Goose
Human Rights Watch Arms Division

Ken Rutherford
Center for International Stabilization and Recovery

Lt. Gen. Robert Gard (Ret.)
Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

Break

Closing Remarks (11:20am-11:30am)

Henrique Banze of Mozambique (invited)
President-Designate of the Mine Ban Treaty’s Third Review Conference

To RSVP, please see details of the invitation.

Convention on Cluster Munitions Celebrates Third Anniversary: Senators and Congressman Call on Administration to Review Cluster Munitions Policy and Join Ban Treaty

ICBL_CMC(Washington, D.C.) August 1, 2013 — On the third anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the United States Campaign to Ban Cluster Bombs joins Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Sen. Patrick Leahy, and Rep. James McGovern in calling for the U.S. to review its existing cluster munitions policy and to take immediate steps toward joining the Convention.

“Every year cluster bombs kill and maim hundreds of innocent men, women, and children,” said Zach Hudson, coordinator of the U.S. Campaign to Ban Cluster Bombs. “The Convention on Cluster Bombs is saving lives every day as more and more states join and promise to never again use these devastating weapons. We echo this call for the United States to take these first steps towards joining the treaty.”

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Landmines, cluster munitions and other unexploded ordnance add threat to refugees

(20 June 2013) On World Refugee Day today the Nobel Prize winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) is calling on states to eliminate the harrowing risks that refugees and asylum seekers face from landmines and unexploded ordnance. States must protect refugee victims and urgently respond to their needs. 

Landmines and Refugees: The Risks and the Responsibilities to Protect and Assist Victims” released today by the ICBL-CMC’S Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, focuses on the conditions for victims and refugees fleeing from, or into, 20 different countries contaminated by landmines and other explosive hazards, including cluster munitions; and the experiences of returnees to another five affected countries.

Firoz Alizada, ICBL Campaign Manager knows first-hand the devastating effect of mines on displaced individuals. “Those refugees or IDPs that survive are among the most vulnerable, like other persons with disabilities. They are the first to be affected physically, socially and economically and the last to get assistance,” said Alizada. “I am a double-amputee landmine survivor and I didn’t receive any assistance from anyone but my family during the five years I lived in Pakistan,” said Alizada, a native of Afghanistan. 

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Convention on Cluster Munitions Celebrates Second Anniversary: Campaigners Call on U.S. to Attend Upcoming Treaty Meeting

Washington, D.C.— August 1 marked the second anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. In recognition of the day, campaigners in the United States have written to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to urge that the United States participate as an observer at the upcoming Third Meeting of States Parties to the Convention which will take place in Oslo, Norway, from September 11-14, 2012.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions comprehensively bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions and places obligations on countries to clear affected areas, assist victims and destroy stockpiles. To date, 111 states have joined the treaty, including most of the U.S.’s closest allies.

“While only two years old, the treaty banning cluster bombs is already creating a powerful effect in stigmatizing the weapon, so that even those countries like the United States that have not yet joined will not be able to use cluster bombs without facing widespread international condemnation,” said Zach Hudson, coordinator of the U.S. Campaign to Ban Cluster Bombs.  Read the rest of this entry »

Thousands Worldwide Call on U.S. and Other Outliers to Join Mine Ban Treaty

(Washington, D.C.) April 4, 2012 —  In celebration of the United Nations’ International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action today, thousands of people in more than 70 countries are rolling up their pant leg and standing side-by-side with survivors and landmine-affected communities to call for a full stop to the harm landmines still cause.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines (USCBL) joins the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) in the Lend Your Leg initiative to demand an end to the scourge of antipersonnel mines, and to once again call on the Obama administration to announce the conclusion of the landmine policy review launched in 2009 and to join the Mine Ban Treaty without further delay.

Lend Your Leg 2012, officially partnered with the ICBL and the United Nations with support from the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, and was launched on March 1—the 13th anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty—by landmine survivors from all over the world joined by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Since then United Nations officials, politicians, celebrities, journalists and ordinary people everywhere have pledged to “lend their legs” to speak out against this indiscriminate weapon that continues to impair people’s lives every day.

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Thirteenth Anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty: What Is President Obama Waiting For?

(Washington, D.C.) MARCH 1, 2012 — As the Mine Ban Treaty celebrates its thirteenth anniversary March 1, the United States Campaign to Ban Landmines (USCBL) once again calls on President Obama to finally announce the conclusion of the landmine policy review and join the treaty without delay.

The Obama administration initiated a comprehensive interagency review of its landmine policy in late 2009. Over the past two years, Obama and his administration have received letters of support for the Mine Ban Treaty from 68 Senators, nearly 100 leaders of prominent U.S. nongovernmental organizations, key NATO allies, retired senior military officers, 16 Nobel Peace Prize recipients, landmine survivors and countless citizens from around the world.

“The U.S. has still not announced its decision to join the Mine Ban Treaty,” said Zach Hudson, USCBL Coordinator. “U.S. citizens, landmine survivors and campaigners from every corner of the globe have been calling on the U.S. to join the treaty for the last fifteen years. The world has waited long enough.”

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