November 27, 2010
Last year the Obama administration announced that it was conducting a comprehensive review of its landmine policy, including whether the United States should join the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction, also known as the Mine Ban Treaty. States-parties will meet next week, Nov. 29 to Dec. 3, in Geneva to review the treaty.
As it did last year for the first time, the United States is planning to send an official delegation to a Mine Ban Treaty state-parties meeting. Also like last year, Washington has yet to determine whether to sign onto the accord, which bans the use of victim-activated antipersonnel landmines.
Facts and numbers provide this administration with plenty of reasons to conclude it is time to join with the international norm and sign onto the Mine Ban Treaty.
68 Number of U.S. Senators who signed a letter to President Obama in May saying, "We are confident that through a thorough, deliberative review the Administration can identify any obstacles to joining the Convention and develop a plan to overcome them as soon as possible."1
156 States-parties to the Mine Ban Treaty.
26 NATO members that have ratified the Mine Ban Treaty.
2 NATO members that have not ratified the Mine Ban Treaty. (Poland has signed and indicated its attention to ratify in 2012. The United States has not signed.)2
33 Countries in the Americas that have ratified the Mine Ban Treaty.
2 Countries in the Americas that have not ratified the Mine Ban Treaty. (Cuba and the United States.)
19 Number of years since the United States is known to have used antipersonnel landmines banned by the treaty.3
18 Number of years since the United States has exported banned antipersonnel landmines.
13 Number of years since the United States has produced banned antipersonnel landmines.
0 Number of antipersonnel landmines embedded in South Korean soil that are the responsibility of the United States.4
0 Number of U.S. antipersonnel landmines used in recent conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan.
363 Days since State Department Spokesperson Ian Kelly corrected his statement (of the day before) and confirmed that an ongoing comprehensive review of U.S. landmine policy was still underway.5 - JEFF ABRAMSON
 "Momentum Building for U.S. Accession to the Mine Ban Treaty" Arms Control Association Issue Brief - Volume 1, Number 6, May 25, 2010. http://www.armscontrol.org/issuebriefs/MomentumForUSMineBanTreaty
 "Poland: Mine Ban Policy," Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor, updated June 19, 2010. http://www.the-monitor.org/index.php/cp/display/region_profiles/theme/58
 "United States: Mine Ban Policy," Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor, updated Oct 18, 2010. http://www.the-monitor.org/index.php/cp/display/region_profiles/theme/312
 Antipersonnel mines in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) are the responsibility of South Korea, not the United States. See endnote 3 and Human Rights Watch for additional explanation: http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/05/08/us-two-thirds-senate-back-landmine-ban
 See endnote 3 and "In a First, U.S. Attends Landmine Meeting," Arms Control Today, January/February 2010. http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2010_01-02/Landmines
Source: The Arms Control Association (ACA), an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing information and practical policy solutions to address the dangers posed by the world's most dangerous weapons. ACA publishes the monthly journal, Arms Control Today.