Toward a mine-free world

Icbl_logo Good news from the Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World!

The summit closed with more than 120 governments adopting the Cartagena Action Plan (read the plan in draft form [pdf], a detailed five-year plan of commitments on all areas of mine action including victim assistance, mine clearance, risk education, stockpile destruction and international cooperation. Good news!

The summit brought the announcement that four  countries – Albania, Greece, Rwanda and Zambia – are now mine-free. And that's not good news, that is great news! This is a significant event for all these countries – in Rwanda, for example, 80% of the land is used for agriculture.

The United States remains among the 39 countries that have not yet signed or ratified the Mine Ban Treaty [pdf]. Not good news.

But, the head of the U.S. delegation to the Cartagena Summit on a Mine-Free World informed participants that the Obama administration has begun a comprehensive landmine policy review. That is good news.

And it is a reminder that the effort to create a mine-free world will continue.

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