Argument: General statements in favor of a land mine ban treaty

Issue Report: Mine Ban Treaty (Ottawa Treaty)


Steve Goose, arms division director at Human Rights Watch: “It is painful that President Obama has chosen to reject the mine ban treaty just weeks before he joins the ranks of Nobel peace laureates, including the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.”[1]

Cody Williams, Nobel co-laureate for her role in the landmine ban: “We cannot understand this shameful decision and we definitely cannot understand President Obama’s decision to continue with the Bush policy. This decision is a slap in the face to landmine survivors, their families and affected communities everywhere.”[2]

Democratic senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont endorsed Obama’s presidential run in 2008: “The United States is the most powerful nation on earth. We don’t need these weapons and most of our allies have long ago abandoned them. It is a lost opportunity for the United States to show leadership instead of joining with China and Russia and impeding progress.”[3]

Senator Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. called the US decisions to avoid signing the treaty a “default of U.S. leadership and a detour from the clear path of history.”[4]

Steve Goose, Arms Division director at Human Rights Watch: “Joining the treaty is the right thing to do from both a humanitarian and a military perspective.”[5]

Sylvie Brigot, Executive Director of the ICBL: “All states should formally renounce the use of antipersonnel mines forever by joining the Mine Ban Treaty, if we are to really rid the world of this barbaric weapon.”

Steve Goose, Arms Division director at Human Rights Watch: “President Obama’s decision to cling to antipersonnel mines keeps the US on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of humanity. This decision lacks vision, compassion, and basic common sense, and contradicts the Obama administration’s professed emphasis on multilateralism, disarmament, and humanitarian affairs.”[6]