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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 16, 1996


                U.S. Efforts to Address the Problem of 
                       Anti-Personnel Landmines

The Administration is committed to addressing the humanitarian crisis caused by the indiscriminate use of anti-personnel landmines (APL). It is estimated that every year more than 25,000 people are maimed or killed by these weapons. To this end, the Administration has pursued a broad range of efforts to control the transfer and use of APL, as well as to protect civilians from those APL that have already been laid in the ground through mine awareness and mine clearance programs.

Since 1992, the United States has observed an export moratorium on APL. The United States has urged other countries to adopt export moratoria as well. To date, more than 30 nations have joined us.

       In 1994, in his UN General Assembly address, President 
     Clinton initiated the call for the eventual elimination of 
     APL.  Since then, the UN General Assembly has adopted 
     annually by consensus a resolution supporting this goal. 
          Also at the UN General Assembly, in 1994, the President 
     proposed an international agreement to reduce the number and 
     availability of APL.  A first meeting on the program to 
     restrict the production, stockpile and transfer of APL was 
     held in June, 1995.  Consultations on it continue. 
          The United States pressed for tighter restrictions on 
     APL use in the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).  At 
     the conclusion of the CCW Review Conference on May 3, 1996, 
     a number of important improvements to the CCW were adopted, 
     including provisions that:  all APL must be detectable, all 
     non-self-destructing APL can only be used in marked and 
     monitored areas, and self-destructing/self-deactivating APL 
     must have a lifespan of no more than 120 days with a 
     combined self-destruct/self-deactivate reliability rate of 
     99.9%.  CCW parties also agreed that the new rules should be 
     extended to internal armed conflicts. 

     The United States contributes to demining programs around 
     the world.  In fiscal year 1996, the United States 
     government will spend about $32 million in cash and in-kind 
     contributions to demining programs in fourteen countries:  
     Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia, Cambodia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, 
     Jordan, Laos, Mozambique, Namibia, OAS/IADB regional program 
     in Central America (Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua) and 
     --  In Bosnia, the United States has led the effort to 
     establish a Mine Action Center in Sarajevo, which 
     coordinates mine information, education, and demining 
     activities there.  The United States provided the initial 
     $8.5 million for the Center. 
       The Department of Defense is pursuing research and 

development of technology specifically designed for the needs of humanitarian demining operations. The FY97 request for this program is about $7 million.

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