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A poster in Iraq warns passersby of the presence of landmines. (MCC photo by Titus Peachey)

A poster in Iraq warns passersby of the presence of landmines. (MCC photo by Titus Peachey)

Landmines: Calling for bold action from the U.S. in 2010

MCC U.S. Staff
February 5, 2010


AKRON, Pa. — More than a decade after 121 nations gathered in Ottawa, Ont., to sign a treaty banning anti-personnel landmines, the U.S. has agreed to conduct a comprehensive review of its landmine policy. Campaigners hope this will result in a decision to sign the Mine Ban Treaty. 

“It is unacceptable for the United States to remain silent on this issue,” said Mary Stata, legislative assistant for International Affairs for the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. Washington Office. “Now is the time for the U.S. to join the treaty and ban this weapon that indiscriminately affects civilians.”
 
The U.S. has not used landmines since the Gulf War in 1991, despite wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. The U.S. has not exported landmines since 1992 or produced them since 1997. All major U.S. allies have signed the treaty. Since the Ottawa Treaty was signed, the world community has severely stigmatized landmines.
 
These factors provide good incentive for the U.S. to sign the treaty. U.S. Senate support of the treaty is essential because even if the administration signs the international treaty, the Senate must ratify it.
 
Titus Peachey, director of peace education for MCC U.S. said, “This is a unique opportunity that we must seize. A U.S. signature on the treaty would affirm the tireless work of thousands of landmine survivors around the globe and send an important signal to other non-signatories such as China, Russia and Israel.”
 
You can add your voice to the call for the U.S. to sign the treaty by signing the MCC U.S. Washington Office action alert at: washington.mcc.org/landmineaction, or by sending a letter to your U.S. senator or representative. For more information on U.S. policy related to both landmines and cluster munitions see: clusterbombs.mcc.org.