Progress over the years towards achieving a U.S. ban on landmines

This chronology is drawn from publications by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Landmine Monitor, as well as the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty.

2016

Mar. 1: In a letter to President Obama, the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines urges him before he leaves office to send the Mine Ban Treaty to the Senate for its advice and consent on accession.

2015

Nov. 30-Dec. 4: 14th Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva.

Jun. 25-26: Intersessional meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva.

Apr. 4: On International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, new websites are launched for the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition U.S..

2014

Oct. 4: Human Rights Watch issues a "Questions & Answers" document on the 2014 U.S. policy announcements.

Sep. 23: The White House announces a ban on U.S. use of antipersonnel mines except in the Korean Peninsula. In remarks to the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, President Obama acknowledges the efforts of the ICBL and Jody Williams. He referrs to the call issued 20 years ago by President Clinton for the “eventual elimination” of antipersonnel mines. The new policy commits the U.S. to “continue our diligent efforts to pursue material and operational solutions that would be compliant with and ultimately allow us to accede” to the Mine Ban Treaty. (USCBL press release)

Sep. 12: In a letter to President Obama, the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines policy welcomes the U.S. ban on production and acqusition of antipersonnel mines and calls for an end to U.S. use of antipersonnel mines.

Jun. 27: The U.S. announces new policy foreswearing future production or acquisition of antipersonnel mines at the Mine Ban Treaty's Third Review Conference in Maputo, Mozambique. The U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines describes the new policy as a "positive step" but says it "falls short of what is needed to ensure the weapons are never used again." (USCBL press release)

Jun. 19: On the eve of the Mine Ban Treaty's Third Review Conference, the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines calls on the Obama administration to conclude the policy review. (USCBL press release)

Apr. 4: On the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines calls on the U.S. to “match its financial commitment to clearing landmines with a political commitment to ensure it never uses these indiscriminate weapons again.” (USCBL press release)

Feb. 19: The U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Mine Ban Treaty Implementation Support Unit hold a symposium on the United States and the Mine Ban Treaty in Washington, D.C. The program features addresses by Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams, Mine Ban Treaty envoy Prince Mired Bin Raad Al-Hussein of Jordan, and Senator Patrick Leahy, and an expert panel on the U.S. landmine policy. 

Jan. 31: In a letter to President Obama, 17 NGO representatives of the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines call for the landmine policy review to conclude with a decision to join the Mine Ban Treaty. (USCBL press release)

Jan: Human Rights Watch's Steve Goose takes on coordination of the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs from Handicap International USA.

2013

Dec. 5: At the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva, the U.S. delegation provided no further substantive information on the progress of the administration's landmine policy review, which began in 2009. (USCBL press release)

Nov. 1: In a letter to President Obama, the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines call on on the administration not to delay further an announcement of the new U.S. landmine policy. (USCBL press release)

Mar. 1: As part of a global action marking the fourteenth anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty's entry-into-force, campaigners call for the U.S. policy review to conclude with a decision to join the Mine Ban Treaty. (USCBL press release)

Jan: Foreign Policy magazine lists a call by Jody Williams for the U.S. to ban landmines in its top ten foreign policy objectives for the second term of the Obama Administration.

2012

Dec. 27: Poland ratifies the Mine Ban Treaty, completing its universalization in the European Union and leaving the U.S. as the only NATO country not to have ratified the treaty. (HRW press release)

Dec. 6: A State Department official informs the Mine Ban Treaty's Twelth Meeting of States Parties that a decision on the policy review will be announced "soon." (USCBL press release)

Oct. 18: The ICBL marks 20 years since six NGOs founded it at a meeting in New York. (HRW press release

Apr. 9: Somalia accedes to the Mine Ban Treaty, completing its universalization in sub-Saharan Africa. (USCBL press release)

Mar. 14: U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice and the State Department both describe reports of Syrian government use of antipersonnel mines along its borders as “horrific.” (HRW press release)

Apr. 4: Leaders of 76 U.S. NGOs sign a U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines letter to President Obama urging him to make a decision on future U.S. landmine policy and supporting the call for a U.S. ban on antipersonnel mines. - USCBL press release The UN, ICBL, and Colombian NGO Archangeles conclude a month-long global “Lend Your Leg” action in solidarity with landmine survivors around the world and in support of the Mine Ban Treaty. (USCBL press release & fact sheet)

Mar. 1: As part of a global action marking the thirteenth anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty's entry-into-force, campaigners call for the U.S. policy review to conclude with a decision to join the Mine Ban Treaty. (USCBL press release)

Jan. 9: Finland accedes to the Mine Ban Treaty. (HRW press release)

2011

Nov. 28: The U.S. participates as an observer in the Mine Ban Treaty's Eleventh Meeting of States Parties in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. - USCBL press release

Jun. 24: The U.S. attends intersessional meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva and meets with U.S. NGOs to confirm the policy review is continuing. (USCBL press release)

Mar. 1: As part of a global action marking the twelth anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty's entry-into-force, campaigners call for the U.S. policy review to conclude with a decision to join the Mine Ban Treaty. (USCBL press release)

Jan. 1: Bush administration policy goes into effect prohibiting U.S. use of antipersonnel mines that do not self-destruct and self-deactivate anywhere in the world, including in Korea. 

2010

Nov. 30: A letter from 16 Nobel Peace Laureates to President Obama urges a U.S. decision to join the Mine Ban Treaty. (HRW press release)

May 18: In a letter to President Obama 68 Senators including Senators Leahy expresses support for a U.S. ban on antipersonnel mines and U.S. accession to the Mine Ban Treaty. A House version of the letter is sent by Congressional representatives including Rep. Jim McGovern. (USCBL press release)

Apr. 1: The International Day for Mine Awareness and Mine Action is commemorated in the U.S. with a call to ban landmines. (USCBL press release)

Mar. 22: In a letter to President Obama, leaders from 65 U.S. NGOs call for the policy review to result in a decision that sees the U.S. join the Mine Ban Treaty. (USCBL press release)

Mar. 1: As part of a global action marking the eleventh anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty's entry-into-force, campaigners in 60 countries call for the U.S. policy review to conclude with a decision to join the Mine Ban Treaty. (USCBL press release)

2009

Dec. 2: The U.S. attends the Mine Ban Treaty's Third Review Conference in Cartagena, Colombia, marking its first participation as an observer in a meeting of the treaty. The U.S. informs States Parties that a comprehensive landmine policy review had been “initiated at the direction of President Obama.” This marks a reversal of a November 25 statement by the US State Department that the Obama administration had completed its landmine policy review and decided against joining the Mine Ban Treaty. (USCBL press release)

Oct. 29: The U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines announces that the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund has agreed to support the coalition over the next year as it works to bring the U.S. in line with the international treaties banning landmines and cluster munitions. Handicap International U.S.'s Zach Hudson takes on coordination of the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs from FCNL. (USCBL press release

2005

Dec: For the first time, China votes in favor of the annual pro-ban UN General Assembly resolution supporting the Mine Ban Treaty. The U.S. continues to abstain, as it has every year since 1997.

Jan: The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)'s Lora Lumpe takes on coordination of the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines from Physicians for Human Rights.

2004

Nov: Kenya hosts the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty, also called the “Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World.” The U.S. does not attend.

Feb. U.S. President George W. Bush issues policy that the U.S. would never join the treaty.

2003

Sep: Greece ratifies and Turkey accedes to the Mine Ban Treaty on the same day in a planned initiative to demonstrate their common support for the landmine ban. 

Mar: All Mine Ban Treaty States Parties with stockpiles to destroy complete their obligations by the first stockpile destruction deadline four years after entry-into-force.

2000

Jul: Mauritania becomes the 100th State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. 

Physicians for Human Rights' Ms. Gina Cummings takes on coordination of the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines from VVAF.

1999

May: Mozambique hosts the First Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Maputo. The U.S. does not attend, even as an observer, but a message from President Clinton is delivered to the opening plenary. 

Mar. 1: The 1997 Mine Ban Treaty takes effect internationally, becoming binding international law.

1998

Burkina Faso becomes the 40th country to ratify the Mine Ban Treaty, triggering the treaty’s entry-into-force six months later. 

1997

Dec. 3: A total of 122 nations sign the Mine Ban Treaty in Ottawa, Canada. The U.S. attends the signing conference as an observer.

Oct. 10: The International Campaign to Ban Landmines and its coordinator American Jody Williams of VVAF are awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for their crucial role in starting a process that “in the space of a few years changed a ban on antipersonnel mines from a vision to a feasible reality.”

Sep. 18: After the U.S. withdraws its proposed amendments that it acknowledges have been unable to gain enough support, the Mine Ban Treaty is adopted by nations at the negotiations in Oslo, Norway.

Sep. 17: President Clinton announces that the U.S. will not be signing the Mine Ban Treaty, but commits the U.S. to ban antipersonnel mine use everywhere except Korea by 2003, and in Korea by 2006.

Jul: Human Rights Watch and Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation publish the report “In Its Own Words” drawn from a fifteen volume set of U.S. Army documents on the impact landmine warfare in the Korea and Vietnam wars

Apr.: Human Rights Watch publishes the report “Exposing the Source" identifying 47 U.S. companies that have been involved in the manufacture of antipersonnel mines, their components, or delivery systems

Jan. 17: President Clinton announces U.S. intent to pursue an international ban on landmine transfers through the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva rather than fully support the "Ottawa Process" launched in October 1996.

1996

Dec: A UN General Assembly resolution by the U.S. proposing the negotiation of a treaty banning landmines as soon as possible is adopted by 155 nations. 

Oct: Canada hosts a conference in Ottawa attended by 75 governments including the U.S. as well as the ICBL and international organization. At the conclusion of the meeting, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Lloyd Axworthy challenges all governments to negotiate a treaty banning antipersonnel landmines over the next year and return to Ottawa in December 1997 to sign it. 

May 16: President Clinton commits the U.S. to “lead a global effort” to ban antipersonnel mines, but the announcement amounts to little more than a disappointing restatement of existing plans and policies.

Apr: The First Review Conference of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) adopts a weak amended Protocol II permitting continued use of antipersonnel mines. On the mragins, representatives from more than a dozen states commit to strategize with the ICBL on another way to achieve a ban on landmines. 

Mar: The VVAF sponsors two full-page advertisements in The New York Times calling on President Clinton to ban landmines, including an open letter from retired General Norman Schwarzkopf and 14 other high-ranking retired US military officials.

VVAF's Mary Wareham takes on coordination of the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines from the Women's Committee for Refugee Women and Children.

1994 

Sep: At the UN, President Clinton calls for the “eventual elimination” of antipersonnel landmines. 

Jun: Senator Leahy holds a hearing on landmines with testimonies in support of a ban from Ken Rutherford, the American Red Cross's Elizabeth Dole, and others. He subsequently introduces legislation with 55 Senate co-sponsors to establish a moratorium on the production of landmines.

Apr: UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali calls for a total ban on landmines at a Council on Foreign Relations seminar on landmines.

Jan: The New York Times Sunday magazine runs "It's the Litte Bombs That Kill You" a cover story on the landmine problem, demining efforts, and the campaign to ban landmines. 

1993

Dec: The UN General Assembly First Committee passes a resolution proposed by the U.S. calling for an international moratorium on trade of antipersonnel mines.

Sep: The U.S. Department of State issues its first “Hidden Killers" report on "the global problem with uncleared landmines.” 

May 24:  U.S. NGOs participate in the first NGO conference on antipersonnel landmines convened by the International Campaign to Ban Landmines in London

1992

Oct: Six non-governmental organizations meet at Human Rights Watch in New York and agree to establish the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, coordinated by Ms. Jody Williams of the (VVAF)

Oct. 23: President George Bush signs into law a one-year moratorium on the export of all antipersonnel mines, an initiative sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy and Representative Lane Evans that received a Senate vote of 100 in favor. The export moratorium which also prohibits foreign manufacturing licenses and technical assistance agreements has been renewed ever since through a series of multi-year extensions. 

1991

Nov: U.S. humanitarian NGO Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF) agrees with German NGO Medico International to jointly launch an international advocacy campaign aimed at bringing together NGOs in a coordinated effort to ban landmines.

Sep. 2: Asia Watch (later Human Rights Watch) and Physicians for Human Rights publish The Coward’s War" report on landmines in Cambodia and call for a total ban on landmines.

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http://www.uscbl.org/fileadmin/content/images/Letters/USCBL_Letter_to_Obama_31Jan2014.pdf

http://www.banminesusa.org/downloads/press-releases/uscbl-23sept2014-final.pdf