At the close of a Mine Ban Treaty meeting at the United Nations in Geneva on December 5, 2013, the U.S. delegation provided no further substantive information on the progress of the administration's landmine policy review, which began in 2009.
At the previous annual Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty one year ago, the U.S. assured States Parties that the policy review would conclude “soon.” Yet at today's meeting, the head of the U.S. delegation made a statement with no other information than that the policy review is “pressing forward.”
In reaction Zach Hudson, USCBL coordinator said “It is ridiculous that the United States has once again deferred conclusion of this review. The administration is just not taking this seriously.”
At the urging of the USCBL, Sen. Patrick Leahy, landmine survivors, and many others, the Obama administration announced a review of U.S. landmine policy was underway in December 2009. When the head of the U.S. delegation said in December 2012 that it would conclude “soon” he further clarified that “soon” would be consistent with a reasonable understanding of the word, and that he believed—at the outset—that an announcement of the decision of the review would take place no later than the next Meeting of States Parties in December 2013.
The USCBL has urged that the review result in a comprehensive ban on antipersonnel mines and overturn the George W. Bush administration’s decision to never join the Mine Ban Treaty. Over the past four years, Obama and his administration have received letters of support for U.S. accession to the Mine Ban Treaty from 68 Senators, nearly 100 leaders of prominent U.S. nongovernmental organizations, key NATO allies, U.S. military personnel, 16 Nobel Peace Prize recipients, landmines survivors and countless citizens from around the world.
108 countries are registered to participate in the Meeting of States Parties, including the U.S. and 13 other non-States Parties participating as observers.