WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mines Advisory Group (MAG) America congratulates President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and all candidates elected in the United States.
The U.S. has been the world’s most generous sponsor of humanitarian mine action for decades, under leaders of both parties. In just the last five years, funds from the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development have enabled MAG to destroy more than 185,000 landmines, unexploded bombs, and surplus weapons; make safe more than 31,000 acres of land; and provide vital risk education to more than 860,000 vulnerable people.
This work stands among America’s greatest humanitarian accomplishments. But to realize a landmine-free world, the U.S. must redouble its commitment to humanitarian demining and related programming.
At the same time, we believe critical changes to U.S. policy must now be made. MAG urges President-elect Biden to restore the ban on new U.S. production, use, and transfer of anti-personnel landmines within the first 100 days of his presidency, and to make the same commitment with respect to cluster munitions. We also call on Congressional leaders of both parties to support these changes.
Anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions have killed thousands of civilians and U.S. soldiers, and they have no place in America’s arsenal. Unilateral U.S. prohibitions of these weapons would prevent needless suffering in the near term and clear a path for America’s eventual accession to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention and Convention on Cluster Munitions.
We are grateful for the U.S. government’s support to date and look forward to working with both the incoming administration and Congressional leaders on these lifesaving initiatives.
A PDF copy of this statement is available for download here.