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Washington D.C., and Geneva – His Royal Highness Prince Mired Raad Al Hussein of Jordan has renewed calls for the United States of America to join the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, or Ottawa Convention, which bans the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines.
HRH Prince Mired of Jordan at the Washington D.C. symposium - YouTube screen shot
“A change in US policy to bring it in line with the provisions of the Ottawa Convention would demonstrate the US’ leadership and inject new life into this humanitarian cause,” said Prince Mired, who serves as a Special Envoy for the Convention.
“There is no good reason for the USA to remain outside of the Convention and many good reasons why it should join,” added Prince Mired, noting that every one of the United States' NATO allies has foresworn the use of anti-personnel mines and that the use of the weapon is inconsistent with the modern, sophisticated manner in which the US armed forces fulfil their responsibilities. In addition, the United States has not used anti-personnel mines for over two decades.
Prince Mired’s remarks were made at a European Union-sponsored symposium on US landmine policy, which was convened by Human Rights Watch on behalf of the United States Campaign to Ban Landmines, and the Convention’s Implementation Support Unit.
The symposium, which took place at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., also featured the participation of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize co-Laureate, Jody Williams, and various military and policy experts.
Jody Williams at the Washington D.C. symposium - YouTube screen shot
The symposium highlighted that it has been almost five years since the Obama Administration launched a landmine policy review: “In 2010, I visited Washington to engage high level officials from the National Security Council, the State Department and the Pentagon on the matter of US landmine policy,” said Prince Mired. “At the time I was extremely optimistic that this policy review would result in the US being in a position to join the Ottawa Convention.”
“I remain optimistic that the US will claim its place on the right side of history on this issue,” added Prince Mired. “Anything short of adopting a policy to, never, under any circumstances, use, produce, stockpile or transfer anti-personnel mines by the Obama Administration, would leave the United States on the side-lines and not in the lead where it normally belongs.”
The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention was adopted in Oslo in 1997, opened for signature in Ottawa the same year and entered into force on 1 March 1999.
Since entering into force, millions of square metres of once dangerous lands have been released for normal human activity and over 44.5 million stockpiled mines have been destroyed.
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