THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
U.S. Policy on a Landmine Control Regime
Today at the UN General Assembly, President Clinton unveiled a new landmine control regime proposal designed to reduce the horrendous suffering caused by the illegal and indiscriminate use of anti-personnel landmines.
People in 62 countries, mostly in the developing world, daily face the threat of being killed or maimed by one of the estimated 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. They will remain a threat to civilian populations for decades. Moreover, the problem is becoming worse. Over a million more mines are emplaced each year.
As part of a comprehensive strategy to address this problem, the President is proposing the negotiation of a multilateral landmine control regime. Through a combination of export, production, and stockpiling restrictions, the regime will: reduce the overall availability of anti-personnel landmines, reduce reliance on those types of anti-personnel landmines that cause the greatest danger to civilians, and reinforce the landmine use restrictions contained in the Convention on Conventional Weapons. [The regime poses as an ultimate objective the complete elimination of anti- personnel landmines.]
Until the proposed regime can be negotiated and put in place, the United States will continue to urge other countries to join in imposing unilateral moratoria on the export of all anti-personnel landmines. The United States is presently in the second year of a four-year moratorium.
The United States will also continue its efforts to negotiate strengthened provisions for the protocol on landmine use in the Convention on Conventional Weapons and work to assist mine- plagued countries in clearing minefields after conflicts have ceased.