The United States is participating as an observer in the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty's Twelfth Meeting of States Parties at the United Nations in Geneva this week. In a December 6 statement to the meeting, the U.S. delegation said: “We have not made a decision on United States accession to the Convention. Our review has identified operational issues related to accession that require careful consideration. This consideration is ongoing, and we expect to be able to announce a decision soon.”
At a Mine Ban Treaty side event briefing convened by the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines to discuss the statement and the status of the review, the head of the U.S. delegation indicated that “soon” meant—at the least—that an announcement of the decision of the review would take place no later than the next Meeting of States Parties in November 2013.
Campaigners at the conference recognized that this was the first time the administration has indicated publicly that the review is nearing conclusion, but were disappointed there was no mention of an actual end date for the review; information about the current stage of the process; or what “operational issues” had been identified—and what strategy was being implemented to overcome them.