Next week, United States officials will be in the embarrassing and unfortunate position of having to tell a high-level meeting of the Mine Ban Treaty that President Barack Obama’s administration has yet to complete its years-long landmine policy review. U.S. officials have confirmed to campaigners that the United States will not have anything of substance to report regarding the policy review when it sends a delegation to observe the high-level Third Review Conference of the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty hosted by Mozambique in Maputo on June 23-27.
The U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines chair today remarked that U.S. financial contributions provided to assist Mozambique and other affected nations to clear mined areas are "overshadowed by the unwillingness of the U.S. to address the hard question of itself giving up antipersonnel landmines.”
The U.S. campaign has repeatedly urged that the outcome of the policy review be a decision to join the Mine Ban Treaty as soon as possible, to prohibit the use and production of antipersonnel mines immediately, and to begin destruction of all stocks of antipersonnel mines.
The U.S. raised expectations globally in 2009, when it formally participated as an observer for the first time in a meeting of the Mine Ban Treaty, informing the treaty’s Second Review Conference that a policy review was underway. In 2012, the U.S. informed a Mine Ban Treaty meeting that the review would be concluded “soon” and in 2013 told them the review was “pressing forward to a conclusion.”