Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Call For President Obama To Sign The Mine Ban Treaty

On Tuesday, November 30, 2010, 15 Nobel Laureates sent a letter to President Obama, calling on him to sign the treaty banning anti-personnel landmines. Over 155 nations have signed the treaty, which has been in effect since 1999.  Aside from Cuba, the United States is the only nation in the Western Hemisphere that is not party to the treaty.


The letter sent by the Nobel Laureates echoes the actions taken by members of Congress in May, when 68 Senators, led by Senator Leahy, wrote to President Obama expressing support for the Administration’s decision to conduct a review of the United States’ policy on the Mine Ban Treaty, and urging him to develop a plan to join the treaty as soon as possible.


“It is rare that 15 recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize join together in support of a single cause.  These are extraordinary leaders from every corner of the globe, calling on the United States to join the overwhelming majority of nations in formally renouncing anti-personnel landmines.  We have not used or produced these indiscriminate weapons for almost two decades.  It is time for the White House to act.”   

[Senator Leahy wrote the first law enacted by any government banning the export of anti-personnel landmines and has long been an advocate for assistance for landmine victims.  The Leahy War Victims Fund currently provides $14 million each year to support victims of landmines and other war-related injuries.]

The text of the letter from the Nobel Laureates to President Obama can be found here.

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