The U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines – U.S. Cluster Munition Coalition Welcomes New U.S. Landmine Policy and Calls for Accession to Treaty
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
President Biden’s new anti-personnel landmine policy is an important first step toward the ultimate goal of the United States joining the Mine Ban Treaty and banning the use, production, and transfer of anti-personnel landmines worldwide.
See full statement in PDF.
WASHINGTON (June 21, 2022) – The U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines – U.S. Cluster Munition Coalition (USCBL-USCMC) welcomes President Biden’s new anti-personnel landmine policy, as an important first step toward the ultimate goal of the United States joining the Mine Ban Treaty and banning the use, production, and transfer of anti-personnel landmines worldwide.
Landmines are indiscriminate weapons that devastate civilian communities during conflict and for decades after the conflict has ended. The USCBL-USCMC welcomes today’s announcement from the White House, reversing the 2020 anti-personnel landmine policy, which had allowed for the weapons use globally. Through this new policy, the United States is once again moving toward the global consensus against the use of anti-personnel landmines. Today, 164 countries are party to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, also known as the Ottawa Convention, representing over 80 percent of the world’s states and all U.S. NATO allies.
This policy is an important first step toward the USCBL-USCMC’s and the Biden Administration’s goal of the United States “ultimately acceding to the Ottawa Convention.”
While this new anti-personnel landmine policy is an important step, the USCBL-USCMC reiterates our call for President Biden to ban the use of anti-personnel landmines without geographic exceptions, including the Korean Peninsula. The mines on the Korean peninsula continue to cause ongoing harm and serve as a barrier to peace. Additionally, the mines on the Korean peninsula are no longer under U.S. responsibility, having been turned over to the South Korean armed forces, meaning these mines should not and do not prevent the U.S. from joining the Mine Ban Treaty.
As this new policy is implemented, the USCBL-USCMC urges the Biden Administration to lay out an accelerated timeline for the destruction of any stockpiled anti-personnel landmines and provide concrete plans and mechanisms for public reporting on progress. We additionally call on the United States to continue its role as the world’s leading funder of humanitarian mine action.
The USCBL-USCMC has appreciated the Biden Administration’s consultations with civil society and victims’ advocates over the past year, and looks forward to continued regular engagement on the issues as the U.S. builds on this progress to undertake the necessary steps to accede to the treaty.
Research publication on the MINE BAN TREATY AND CONVENTION ON CLUSTER MUNITIONS
Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor is an initiative providing research for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC). It produces several research products including the annualLandmine Monitor and Cluster Munition Monitorreports, online country profile reports, as well as factsheets and maps.
• Monitor website – http://www.the-monitor.org
• ICBL website – http://www.icbl.org/
• Mine Ban Treaty – http://www.apminebanconvention.org/
• ICBL Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/minefreeworld
• ICBL Twitter – https://twitter.com/minefreeworld
• ICBL Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/minefreeworld/collections/
• ICBL Youtube – http://www.youtube.com/user/ICBLnetwork
• Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor Twitter – https://twitter.com/MineMonitor
When they join the Mine Ban Treaty, states commit to:
- never use antipersonnel mines, nor to develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer them
- destroy mines in their stockpiles within four years
- clear all mined areas in their territory within 10 years
- in mine-affected countries, conduct mine risk education and ensure the exclusion of civilians from mined areas
- provide assistance for the care and rehabilitation, and social and economic reintegration, of mine victims
- offer assistance to other States Parties, for example in providing for survivors or contributing to clearance programs
- adopt national implementation measures (such as national legislation) to ensure that the terms of the treaty are upheld in their territory
- report annually on progress in implementing the treaty.
Parties to the treaty include every member of the European Union, every member of NATO (except the US), and other key US allies such as Afghanistan, Australia, Iraq, and Japan. The United States is one of only 35 countries that have not joined the Mine Ban Treaty and the only country in the Western Hemisphere aside from Cuba that has not joined.
The US has not used antipersonnel mines since 1991 (in the first Gulf War), has not exported them since 1992, has not produced them since 1997, and is the biggest donor to mine clearance programs around the world. However, it still retains millions of stockpiled antipersonnel mines.
During the he Obama Administration, letters of support for the US to join the Mine Ban Treaty were received from treaty States Parties, 68 Senators, 16 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, key NATO allies, senior military veterans, dozens of leaders from non-governmental organizations, victims of US landmines, and more than 200,000 concerned Americans;
Mine Ban Treaty special envoy Prince Mired of Jordan and representatives of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines has met with US officials in Washington DC and in dozens of capitals around the world to discuss the need for the US to join the Mine Ban Treaty;
The US has participated as an observer in every meeting of the Mine Ban Treaty since the Second Review Conference in Cartagena, Colombia in December 2009.
The US Campaign to Ban Landmines is the US affiliate of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), co-laureate together with former ICBL Coordinator Jody Williams of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.
YOU CAN HELP….Write a letter to your state and national leaders, give a presentation, host an awareness event, use your talent (music, art, photography) to garner attention to this issue. Start an organization at your school or in your community. Team up with community civil, medical and faith organizations that are interested in global issues. Research the issue.
JOIN US IN THE UNITED STATES: http://www.noclusterbombs.org/ AND http://www.banminesusa.org/
Go to CLUSTER MUNITION COALITION: www.stopclustermunitions.org and THE INTERNATIONAL CAMAPIGN TO BAN LANDMINES: www.icbl.org for ways in which you can help us achieve a mine and cluster bomb free world. In the United States…go to the United States Campaign to Ban Landmines at www.uscbl.org THE TIME IS NOW TO JOIN THE MINE BAN TREATY!
The global treaty that bans cluster bombs, formally known as the Convention on Cluster Munitions has been signed by over 100 countries. On AUGUST 1st, 2010, it became binding, international law! WVCBL/PSALM and The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) is calling on all governments that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the Convention. The CCM has full legal force and effect as a binding piece of international law: the use, production, transfer of cluster bombs will be illegal and deadlines for destroying stockpiles and clearing contaminated land will start counting down.
Since the historic signing of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo in December 2008, campaigners launched a call on governments to stem the flow of money to producers of these indiscriminate weapons. This CMC campaign is entitled ‘stop explosive investments’.
“Governments made history when they signed the cluster bomb ban. Now they need to make it clear that funding the production of cluster bombs is unacceptable and undermines the spirit of the ban,” said the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), a global network of non-governmental organizations that spearheaded the successful campaign to ban the weapon. How can you get involved? Go to www.stopclustermunitions.org and www.icbl.org for ways in which you can help us achieve a mine and cluster bomb free world.
LANDMINE AND CLUSTER MUNITION MONITOR
After the Mine Ban Treaty was opened for signature in December 1997, the ICBL consulted with key government, international organizations, and civil society partners. Recognizing the widespread and common need for accurate, systematic, and sustained reporting, in June 1998 Landmine Monitor was created as an initiative of the ICBL to address the reporting needs of the international community with respect to landmines, cluster munitions, and other ERW, and to monitor universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. The international community welcomed the move to systematize reporting to provide information necessary to carry out their own work.
The first annual report, Landmine Monitor Report 1999: Toward a Mine-Free World, was published the following year, coinciding with the First Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty. Annual reports have since been published each year prior to the respective meeting of States Parties.
On 3 December 2008, the Convention on Cluster Munitions was opened for signature. The convention provides a framework to monitor and measure progress in eliminating cluster munitions. In November 2008, the Monitor’s Editorial Board, at the request of the Steering Committee of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC), decided to monitor the universalization and implementation of the cluster bomb treaty, in addition to the landmine treaty. The Monitor has always monitored the global ERW situation more broadly including cluster munitions. The Convention on Cluster Munitions provides the Monitor with the opportunity to more specifically report on the cluster bomb problem and hold governments accountable to the treaty’s provisions.
The Monitor remains an initiative of the ICBL and, as such, the research and monitoring program of the campaign. The CMC is the ICBL’s sister campaign focused on eliminating cluster munitions and the ICBL is part of the CMC’s leadership. At the CMC’s request, the Monitor has become functionally the CMC’s research and monitoring arm.
In 2010 Landmine Monitor changed its name to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor to reflect its increased monitoring of the cluster munition issues. Starting in 2010 the Monitor produced three publications: Country Profiles, Landmine Monitor, and Cluster Munition Monitor.
What does the Monitor do?
Every year the Monitor produced an Annual Report and Executive Summary, in addition to fact sheets and an online version of all research products. Starting in 2010 the Monitor annually produced Country Profiles, Landmine Monitor, and Cluster Munition Monitor, in addition to fact sheets.
This consistent reporting for the past decade has provided a vast body of information used to monitor trends and developments in the global movements to eliminate the suffering caused by landmines, cluster munitions, and other ERW. The Monitor is renowned for its independent and impartial monitoring and has become the de facto monitoring regime for the treaties banning landmines and cluster bombs. The Monitor has gained respect for its work by going beyond the transparency reporting states must provide under the relevant treaties to provide independent reporting and evaluation.
How does the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor work?
The Landmine Monitor network relies on over 70 researchers from around the world. Researchers include journalists, academics, research specialists, and campaigners.
Research efforts are coordinated and supported by an Editorial Team comprised of dedicated staff from Mines Action Canada, Action On Armed Violence, Handicap International, Human Rights Watch, and Norwegian People’s Aid. The program is governed by an Editorial Board consisting of members from each of these five organizations.
Who uses the Monitor?
The Monitor’s key target audiences are governments, civil society, and international organizations, as well as media, academics and the general public.
Monitor reporting is used to:
- support the universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions;
- guide policy planning and decision-making;
- determine mine action funding priorities;
- prioritize where stockpile destruction, clearance, risk education and victim assistance programs are needed in affected countries;
- serve as an advocacy tool for civil society to use to hold their governments accountable for their actions under the treaties banning landmines and cluster bombs; and
- raise awareness of the global landmine, cluster bomb, and ERW problems and keep these issues prominent in the public domain to assist in generating the momentum and support needed to sustain mine action efforts.