U.S. Landmine Policy
September 23, 2014
Today, the United States underscored its commitment to the spirit and humanitarian aims of the Ottawa Convention, the treaty that prohibits the use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of anti-personnel landmines.
In a significant step forward, the United States announced that we will not use these mines outside of the Korean Peninsula, where our actions are governed by the unique situation there. This policy change announced today builds on our prior commitments, including our announcement in June, in which we stated we will no longer produce or acquire anti-personnel landmines.
Today’s announcement also means that we will not assist, encourage, or induce others to use, stockpile, produce or transfer anti-personnel landmines outside of the Korean Peninsula. And we will diligently undertake to destroy stockpiles of these landmines that are not required for the defense of the Republic of Korea.
The United States remains deeply concerned about the humanitarian effects of antipersonnel landmines. As the world’s leading donor to humanitarian mine action, we have long worked to mitigate the human costs of their use. Since 1993, we have provided more than $2.3 billion in aid to more than 90 countries for conventional weapons destruction programs, which include the clearance of landmines and unexploded munitions.
This announcement brings us one step closer in aligning ourselves with the international humanitarian movement embodied by the Ottawa Convention, which includes over 160 states, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations.
In the meantime, we will continue our diligent efforts to pursue solutions that would be compliant with and ultimately allow us to join the Ottawa Convention.