Mines Advisory Group (MAG) welcomes the announcement made by the Biden administration yesterday to make significant changes to the U.S. Anti-Personnel Landmine policy. We have been working with the other organizations and government offices behind the scenes to advocate for this change, and also released this public statement in 2020, and are pleased to see this meaningful change in policy.
These commitments include not using, possessing, or supporting any use of these weapons outside of the Korean peninsula, or transferring or producing them. This brings U.S. landmine policy back in line with previous policy under the Obama Administration.
The U.S. has also committed to aligning itself with the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention – also known as the Ottawa Treaty – outside of the Korean Peninsula, with the ultimate aim of joining the Convention.
MAG urges the U.S. to join this lifesaving convention without delay, as well as maintain the U.S. role as the global leader in demining funding.
Darren Cormack, MAG's Chief Executive Officer, said “We welcome the policy change made by the U.S. government, committing to limiting the use of these indiscriminate weapons. This comes at a time when the world has seen once more in Ukraine the devastating impact that use of these landmines have on civilians.”
“This announcement marks an important step towards the U.S. joining the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, which has been signed by more than 160 states in recognition of the unacceptable humanitarian harm caused by anti-personnel landmines. More states should now follow their lead and commit to join this treaty.”
“The United States is the world’s largest financial contributor to mine action and today’s important policy change is a further step towards reducing the suffering caused to civilians by anti-personnel landmines."