Friday, November 27, 2009
The U.S. State Department announced earlier this week that the United States will send observers to the Second Review Conference on the Convention on the Prohibition on the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Landmines and on Their Destruction, but will not join the treaty. The purpose of the Convention is "to put an end to the suffering and casualties caused by anti-personnel (AP) mines." Although human rights activists are disappointed the United States will not join the AP Mine Ban Convention, they can take some comfort that the United States is at least willing to participate by way of an observer mission for the first time. The Second Review Conference, also known as the "Cartagena Summit for a Mine-Free World" will be held in Cartagena, Columbia next week on the tenth anniversary of the Convention's entry into force. 156 States are parties to the Convention; including every country in the Americas except the United States and Cuba. China, India and Russia also are not parties.