July 7, 2010– A letter signed by 68 U.S. senators, asking the administration to join the Mine Ban Treaty, was delivered to President Obama on 18 May 2010. The fact that there are 68 signatories is especially important given that accession to the treaty must be ratified by a two-thirds majority in the Senate. “Congress adds its voice to that of the American people in calling on our government to join our NATO allies—and all of the nations that have joined this treaty—and eliminate the use of landmines once and for all,” said Zach Hudson, Coordinator of the United States Campaign to Ban Landmines.
The U.S. has not used antipersonnel landmines since 1991, has not exported them since 1992 and has not produced them since 1997. Surely if we have been able to defend our country for the last 18 years without using landmines, we have already found alternative solutions. Now it’s time to commit to not using the 10.4 million landmines currently stockpiled in U.S. arsenals—if not for moral reasons, then also to save the enormous amount of taxpayer money spent on stockpiling and maintaining these stigmatized weapons.
U.S. participation is important to the universalization of the treaty. Even though landmine use has been significantly reduced worldwide, a few countries refuse to join—and even continue to use landmines—under the cover that they will not join if the U.S. has not joined.
Given President Obama’s recent selection as the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, joining the Mine Ban Treaty would also confirm and show concrete evidence that the Obama administration is serious about a renewed emphasis on multilateralism and disarmament.
Please join me in signing the following petitions to encourage President Obama to sign the Mine Ban Treaty:
Director & Producer, The Eyes of Thailand