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                       Office of the Press Secretary
                          (Aboard Air Force One)
For Immediate Release                                       May 25, 1999


Amended Mines Protocol to the Convention on Conventional Weapons

Yesterday, following action by the Senate, the President signed the instruments of ratification for the Amended Mines Protocol to the Convention on Conventional Weapons. The Protocol will protect civilians from landmines while ensuring that U.S. armed forces have the capabilities they need to protect themselves.

If complied with, the Protocol will dramatically reduce civilian casualties from landmines. It expands the scope of the original Mines Protocol to include internal conflicts, where most civilian mine casualties occur. It requires that all anti-personnel mines used outside marked and monitored minefields quickly and reliably selfdestruct. It bans non-detectable anti-personnel mines to make mine clearance easier and safer. It makes those laying mines responsible for preventing their irresponsible and indiscriminate use. And it provides more effective means to ensure restrictions on mine use are observed.

Since 1993, the United States has provided more than $300 million for humanitarian demining in over 30 countries -- and we plan to dedicate over $100 million more in the year 2000. No nation has done more, and our efforts are yielding results. For example, since 1992, we have seen a 90 percent reduction in mine accidents in Cambodia, the clearing of thousands of acres of farmland in Afghanistan and of several thousand miles of road in Mozambique, allowing hundreds of thousands of displaced persons to return to their homes. We will continue to do all we can to alleviate the threat landmines pose to civilians, and to meet our commitment to eliminate that threat by 2010.

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