01.30.20

Statement On Reports That The Trump Administration Plans To Roll Back Limits On U.S. Production And Use Of Anti-Personnel Landmines

“Reports that the White House intends to roll back the policy on anti-personnel landmines are of great concern.  As far as I am aware, no Member of Congress has been consulted about this imminent announcement.  I have today asked the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to hold off on any decision until we have an opportunity to discuss it.

“The current policy, limiting the use of this inherently indiscriminate weapon to the Korean Peninsula, is the culmination of nearly 30 years of incremental steps, taken by both Democratic and Republican administrations after extensive analysis and consultation, toward the growing global consensus that anti-personnel mines should be universally banned. 

“Although the United States is not among the 164 countries that have renounced anti-personnel mines, we have consistently sought to limit their production, export, and use.  We have also spent billions of dollars clearing landmines and other unexploded ordnance, and we have supported programs in dozens of countries to help people severely disabled by landmines regain their mobility and support themselves and their families.  This has brought immense goodwill to the United States, including from former enemies.

“More than 25 years ago, President Clinton at the United Nations called for a global ban on anti-personnel mines.  Great progress has been made since then, thanks in part to U.S. leadership.  The example we set has global ramifications.  The Congress must be consulted before any decision that would reverse the gains we have made toward ending the carnage caused by landmines.” 

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[Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has long been the leading U.S. officeholder in efforts to end the global and U.S. use of anti-personnel landmines, steering to enactment a wide range of legislative and policy initiatives.]

 

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