New Developments in the U.S. Approach to Landmines

Feb 27, 2004

On-The-Record Briefing, Washington, DC

“The Ottawa Convention offers no protection for innocent civilians in post-conflict areas from the harm caused by persistent anti-vehicle landmines, and it would take away a needed means of protection from our men and women in uniform who may be operating in harm’s way. We are hopeful that Americans will support the President’s judgment that focusing on persistent mines, both anti-vehicle and anti-personnel landmines, addresses the root of the humanitarian crisis, which is indiscriminately used persistent landmines of all types….This $70 million Mine Action Program will be conducted on the basis of a comprehensive strategic plan with clear measures of performance. The intent is to provide relief to mine-affected areas of greatest humanitarian need and to accelerate their progress toward being declared mine safe….We should never let policy debates stand in the way of the strongest, most comprehensive and energetic possible global effort to help mine-affected countries and their people overcome the burdens of persistent landmines still waiting to claim new victims under their feet.”

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