News Our Way

Biden administration commits to limiting use of land mines

The White House announced Tuesday it will commit to limiting the use of anti-personnel land mines in most places around the world, putting an end to a Trump-era expansion of the policy that President Joe Biden had vowed to reverse.

Anti-personnel land mines, designed for use against humans, have a “disproportionate impact on civilians, including children, long after fighting has stopped,” the White House said in a statement on Tuesday. In addition to curtailing the use of land mines, the United States will continue working to clear existing land mines and explosives leftover from war.

The Biden administration noted that the use of anti-personnel land mines will continue on the Korean Peninsula because of the “unique circumstances” there and the United States’ commitment to defend South Korea against North Korea.

The new policy change, excluding the Korean Peninsula, aligns with requirements posed in the Ottawa Treaty, which prohibited the use, stockpiling, and transfer of anti-personnel landmines worldwide in 1997. According to the statement, the United States will not develop, produce, or acquire anti-personnel land mines; export or transfer land mines unless necessary for destroying; encourage or assist anyone outside of the Korean Peninsula to use land mines; and commit to destroying all land mines

More than 160 countries, including all other NATO nations, already follow the Ottawa Treaty’s guidelines, the statement said.

The policy change aims to “bring U.S. practice in closer alignment with a global humanitarian movement that has had a demonstrated positive impact in reducing civilian casualties” from land mines, the statement said.

%d bloggers like this: