Date: Sat, 23 Nov 96 10:46:39 CST
From: rich@pencil (Rich Winkel)
Subject: Banning Anti-Personnel Landmines [US Govt Fact Sheet]
/** headlines: 143.0 **/
** Topic: Banning Anti-Personnel Landmines [Fact Sheet] **
** Written 12:19 PM Nov 21, 1996 by newsdesk in cdp:headlines **
/* Written 8:31 AM Nov 18, 1996 by firstname.lastname@example.org in disarm.armstrade */
/* ---------- "Banning Anti-Personnel Landmines (A" ---------- */
From: David Isenberg <email@example.com>
Subject: Banning Anti-Personnel Landmines (Administration Factsheet)
Today I am launching an international effort to ban anti-personnel land mines. For decades the world has been struck with horror at the devastation that land mines cause... To end this carnage, the United States will seek a worldwide agreement as soon as possible to end the use of all anti-personnel land mines.
Washington, DC, May 16, 1996
People in 64 countries, mostly in the developing world, face a daily threat of being killed or maimed by the estimated 100 million landmines in place today. Anti-personnel landmines (APL) claim more than 25,000 casualties each year, obstruct economic development and keep displaced persons and refugees from returning to home. Because more than a million mines are still being laid each year, they will remain a growing threat to civilian populations for decades unless action is taken now.
To address this problem, on May 16, 1996, the President announced a new U.S. APL policy. This initiative sets out a concrete path to a global ban on APL but ensures that as the United States pursues a ban, essential U.S. military requirements and commitments to our allies will be protected, as follows:
International Ban. The United States will aggressively pursue an international agreement to ban use, stockpiling, production, and transfer of anti-personnel landmines with a view to completing the negotiation as soon as possible.
Korea Exception. The United States views the security situation on the Korean Peninsula as a unique case and in the negotiation of this agreement will protect our right to use APL there until alternatives become available or the risk of aggression has been removed.
Ban on Non-Self-Destructing APL. Effective immediately, the United States will unilaterally undertake not to use, and to place in inactive stockpile status with intent to demilitarize by the end of 1999, all non-self-destructing APL not needed to (a) train personnel engaged in demining and countermining operations, or (b) defend the United States and its allies from armed aggression across the Korean Demilitarized Zone.
Self-Destructing APL. Between now and the time an international agreement takes effect, the United States will reserve the option to use self-destructing/self-deactivating APL, subject to the restrictions the United States has accepted in the Convention on Conventional Weapons, in military hostilities to safeguard American lives and hasten the end of fighting.
Annual Report. Beginning in 1999, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will submit an annual report to the President and the Secretary of Defense outlining his assessment of whether there remains a military requirement for the exceptions noted above.
Program to Eliminate. The President has directed the Secretary of Defense to undertake a program of research, procurement, and other measures needed to eliminate the requirement for these exceptions and to permit both the United States and our allies to end reliance on APL as soon as possible.
Expanding Demining Efforts. The Department of Defense will undertake a substantial program to develop improved mine detection and clearing technology and to share this improved technology with the broader international community. The Department of Defense will also significantly expand its humanitarian demining program to train and assist other countries in developing effective demining programs.
A Record of Accomplishment:
Since 1992, the United States has observed an export moratorium on APL. The United States has urged other countries to adopt export moratoria as well. To date, more than 30 nations have joined us.
Call to Eliminate:
In 1994, in his UN General Assembly (UNGA) address, President Clinton initiated the call for the eventual elimination of APL. Since then, the UN General Assembly has adopted annually by consensus a resolution supporting this goal. At this year's 51st UNGA, the U.S. will seek the support of other nations to begin negotiations on an international agreement to ban anti-personnel landmines.
Tighter APL Use Controls:
The United States successfully pressed for tighter restrictions on APL use in the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), agreed at the May, 1996 CCW Review Conference. These improvements are: all APL must be detectable, all non-self-destructing APL can only be used in marked and monitored areas, and self-destructing/self-deactivating APL must have a lifespan of no more than 120 days with a combined self-destruct/self-deactivate reliability rate of 99.9%.
In FY 1996, the United States plans to spend $32 million in cash and in-kind contributions for demining programs in fourteen countries: Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia, Cambodia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Laos, Mozambique, Namibia, OAS/IADB regional program in Central America (Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua) and Rwanda. The United States seeks to establish indigenous, sustainable mine clearance and mine awareness training programs.
-- The United States led the successful effort to establish a Mine Action Center in Sarajevo, which coordinates demining activities. DOD will now lead a program to train demining teams in Bosnia and these trained teams will receive up to $10 million in State Department funding to conduct demining.
New Demining Technologies:
In the last year DoD has tested over 100 new technologies specifically designed for the needs of humanitarian demining operations, of which 30 have been selected for further development. In FY97, DoD will significantly expand its humanitarian demining technologies R&D program.
The Challenges Ahead:
Establishing negotiations for an international agreement to ban anti-personnel landmines.
Developing alternatives to anti-personnel landmines so that the United States can end its reliance on APL.
Obtaining early entry-into-force of the Convention on Conventional Weapons Landmines Protocol and expanding adherence to the Convention.
Significantly expanding U.S. humanitarian demining programs.
Developing new mine detection and clearing technology.