THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
U.S. Policy on a Landmine Control Regime
Today at the UN General Assembly, President Clinton announced a new landmine control regime initiative designed to reduce the suffering caused by the illegal and indiscriminate use of anti- personnel landmines (APLs).
People in 62 countries, mostly in the developing world, daily face the threat of being killed or maimed by the more than 85 million landmines in place today. They claim an estimated 800 casualties each month, obstruct economic development and keep refugees from returning to their homeland. As more than a million mines are still being laid each year, they will remain a growing threat to civilian populations for decades unless action is taken now.
The President today called for the eventual elimination of antipersonnel landmines. As a first step toward that ultimate goal, he proposed the negotiation of a multilateral landmine control regime. The regime's provisions are aimed at addressing in particular the problem caused by long-lived landmines -- those APLs that do not self-destruct and self-deactivate. Through a combination of export, production and stockpiling restrictions, the regime will:
The United States is currently in the second year of a four-year moratorium on the export of all anti-personnel landmines. The United States will continue to urge other countries to join in imposing unilateral moratoria while the proposed control regime is being negotiated and put in place.
The U.S. and other countries can move most effectively toward the ultimate goal of the eventual elimination of APLs as viable and humane alternatives are developed. The United States will also continue its efforts to assist mine-plagued countries in clearing minefields after conflicts have ceased.